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The State Duma amends the law on state secrets according to Joseph Stalins model

Statement by the YABLOKO party

October 23, 2012

Amendments to the law on state secrets which are considered by the State Duma in the second reading today will considerably toughen the law as compared to the first reading. Deleting the words "to the detriment of security" in Article 275 and replacing them by "against the security" in Article 276 further broadens the scope and types of treason and espionage. Form now on an assumed intention to commit a crime rather than a crime itself will be punishable.

The draft prepared for the second reading still bans aid not only a foreign state or organisation, but also international organisations, and the draft law does not rule out responsibility for assistance even to such organisations where the Russian Federation officially participates.

The amendments prepared for the second reading broaden the possibilities for avoiding the ban on a double punishment of an offense. In addition, in paragraph "d" of Part 2 of Article 283-1 it is proposed to consider spread of secret information, not only illegal obtaining of information constituting a state secret as an aggravation of an offence.

The amendments submitted for the second reading have not changed the nature of the law: it contradicts to the international law and constitutional principles of the criminal law that stress that a broad interpretation of the norms on responsibility for the crimes, as well as the double conviction for the same offense, are inadmissible.

Charges may be brought now against any person or organisation whose activities seem dangerous for the secret services. Punishment envisaged by the draft law for links with an international non-governmental organisation, rendering of financial, material, technical, consultative or other assistance spread of information in the Internet which can later be recognized as a state secret by the intelligence, toughening of punishment for violations take us back into the period of mass reprisals and resemble Stalin's methods of dealing with political opponents and lead to the formation of a new "iron curtain."

Any person - an ordinary public activist or a federal level official who may arise discontent may get under the sanctions of the new law. Russian special services are interested in obtaining a legal basis for the arrests of the dissenting.

Adoption of this draft law represents another manifestation of totalitarian tendencies in the Russian politics.

We demand that the State Duma should rejected the amendments to the law on state secrets.

Sergei Mitrokhin,
YABLOKO Chairman

See also:

Human Rights

YABLOKO Against Broadening of Proxies of Secret Services

Overcoming Stalins Legacy




October 23, 2012

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