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Russia redefines treason.


GDPR

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President Putin has signed a law redefining treason, a day after saying that he would review the law in question. The law broadens the definition of treason relative to the definition used in the earlier law which had been unchanged since the sixties.

The broadening of this definition has, justly, raised concerns among dissidents and democracy/human rights activists and groups. Human Rights Watch has gone so far as to say that the Council of Europe should call upon its Venice Commission to determine if the law is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights to which Russia is a party. The broadening of the definition allows for the following:

Now not only Russians working for foreign intelligence can be convicted but also citizens who pass state secrets to any foreign organisation.

Even if no secrets have been divulged, the treason charge may still be used.

It is enough for defendants to provide consultancy or "other assistance" to a foreign state or international body "directed against Russia's security"
The legislation allows Russians representing international organizations to be charged with treason, as well as those working for foreign states and bodies, and expands the range of actions that can be considered treasonous.
It broadened the spectrum of actions that can attract treason charges to include giving "financial, material, technical, consultative or other aid" to a government or organization deemed to be seeking to undermine Russian security.
Those changes, as well as the removal of the stipulation that actions must be aimed against Russia's "external" security to be considered treasonous, have raised concerns the law could be applied broadly to punish government opponents.
The law also makes it a crime to pass on to foreign and international organizations information garnered from open sources if the organization receiving the information plans to use it to harm Russia’s national security interests.
The above quotes are taken from articles which I will link to at the end of my post.

Former Soviet dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva has this to say about the law:

"It's an attempt to return not just to Soviet times but to the Stalin era, when any conversation with a foreigner was seen as a potential threat to the state,"
High ranking persons at Human Rights Watch have also described their concern, and suspicion, that the new definition might be used to crack down on the opposition and people working for NGO's.

Finally, the official gazette, Rossiyskaya Gazeta noted the following in a commentary on its website:

"Citizens recruited by international organizations acting against the country's interests will also be considered traitors"
These developments are quite concerning if you ask me and I feel that both the concern and suspicion that this might be used to target people opposed to Putin's regime is very much justified.

Thoughts?

BBC News - Russia treason: Putin approves sweeping new law
Russia: New Treason Law Threatens Rights | Human Rights Watch
Russia's Putin signs new treason law | Top News | Reuters
Lyudmila Alexeyeva - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 


Kommunist

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Why am I not surprised you posted this.

None the less, this is an incredibly subtle move to strengthen his grip over the Russian Federation and the people, the fascinating transformation to a totalitarian state is slowly taking place.
 

GDPR

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Why am I not surprised you posted this.

None the less, this is an incredibly subtle move to strengthen his grip over the Russian Federation and the people, the fascinating transformation to a totalitarian state is slowly taking place.
Haha, you know me; I find this both fascinating and troubling at the same time.
 

Good Irish Mammy

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Why am I not surprised you posted this.

None the less, this is an incredibly subtle move to strengthen his grip over the Russian Federation and the people, the fascinating transformation to a totalitarian state is slowly taking place.
Indeed. The so-called "foreign agent" moves are equally alarming. And Khodorkovsky...?
 

owedtojoy

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The Soviet Union was a Mafia state run by fake ideologues supported by the secret police. It may not have started that way, but that is how it ended up.

Russia is still a Mafia state, except is is now run by the secret police with a fake nationalist ideology. It may not have started that way, but that is how it ended up.
 

Kommunist

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The Soviet Union was a Mafia state run by fake ideologues supported by the secret police. It may not have started that way, but that is how it ended up.

Russia is still a Mafia state, except is is now run by the secret police with a fake nationalist ideology. It may not have started that way, but that is how it ended up.
Then I suppose communism as a cover-up wasn't good enough for the capitalistic and vicious nature of market economies.

The US is a better example of a successful mafia state which is completely run on profiteering, of course, great way to live.
 

southwestkerry

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So you do not like the US and do like Russia... nice.
 

Niall996

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President Putin has signed a law redefining treason, a day after saying that he would review the law in question. The law broadens the definition of treason relative to the definition used in the earlier law which had been unchanged since the sixties.

The broadening of this definition has, justly, raised concerns among dissidents and democracy/human rights activists and groups. Human Rights Watch has gone so far as to say that the Council of Europe should call upon its Venice Commission to determine if the law is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights to which Russia is a party. The broadening of the definition allows for the following:









The above quotes are taken from articles which I will link to at the end of my post.

Former Soviet dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva has this to say about the law:



High ranking persons at Human Rights Watch have also described their concern, and suspicion, that the new definition might be used to crack down on the opposition and people working for NGO's.

Finally, the official gazette, Rossiyskaya Gazeta noted the following in a commentary on its website:



These developments are quite concerning if you ask me and I feel that both the concern and suspicion that this might be used to target people opposed to Putin's regime is very much justified.

Thoughts?

BBC News - Russia treason: Putin approves sweeping new law
Russia: New Treason Law Threatens Rights | Human Rights Watch
Russia's Putin signs new treason law | Top News | Reuters
Lyudmila Alexeyeva - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not arguing with your concerns but when these issues arise, I always wonder who these groups are that comment. Who are Human Rights Watch exactly? Are they elected? Are they a EU organisation? Is there many people in this group and what is their agenda, politics or background?
 

GDPR

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Not arguing with your concerns but when these issues arise, I always wonder who these groups are that comment. Who are Human Rights Watch exactly? Are they elected? Are they a EU organisation? Is there many people in this group and what is their agenda, politics or background?
Aye, I fully recognize that you have to be careful when looking at advocacy groups. Or did you want me to explain HRW's background (by HRW's very reputation I'm inclined to believe you wanted to make the point I think you did instead of wanting me to explain HRW's background. Please correct me if I'm wrong).
 

Clanrickard

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Then I suppose communism as a cover-up wasn't good enough for the capitalistic and vicious nature of market economies.

The US is a better example of a successful mafia state which is completely run on profiteering, of course, great way to live.
Where would you rather live?
 

Niall996

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Aye, I fully recognize that you have to be careful when looking at advocacy groups. Or did you want me to explain HRW's background (by HRW's very reputation I'm inclined to believe you wanted to make the point I think you did instead of wanting me to explain HRW's background. Please correct me if I'm wrong).
No need to give background. I could go and look it up. I'm not aware of their reputation. My point is just a general and doesn't detract form the main discussion point which I don't want to derail. Just seeing as you mentioned them and included their view, it reminded me of the amount of advocacy groups whose very titles are designed intended to lend some gravitas or believability when in reality, most people haven't a clue who they are. It could be a couple of blokes and a secratary in a three bedroom semi in Cologne!
 

milestogo

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The OP is biased.
Why did you not include this?

"The law passed in July requires any NGO that receives foreign funding — from governments, groups or private citizens — and engages in vaguely defined political activity to register itself as a "foreign agent," provide detailed quarterly reports of its finances and identify itself as a foreign agent in any material it distributes.

Failure to comply would bring fines of up to 5,000 rubles (about $150) for members, 50,000 rubles ($1,150) for the heads of these organizations and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for the organizations themselves. Anyone who continues to participate in organizations that violated the rules can be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000) or sent to prison for two years."
 

GDPR

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No need to give background. I could go and look it up. I'm not aware of their reputation. My point is just a general and doesn't detract form the main discussion point which I don't want to derail. Just seeing as you mentioned them and included their view, it reminded me of the amount of advocacy groups whose very titles are designed intended to lend some gravitas or believability when in reality, most people haven't a clue who they are. It could be a couple of blokes and a secratary in a three bedroom semi in Cologne!
While it is obvious that they themselves are speaking, could I point you to their "about us" section on their site?

Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide
 

milestogo

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While it is obvious that they themselves are speaking, could I point you to their "about us" section on their site?

Human Rights Watch | Defending Human Rights Worldwide
The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year:rolleyes:

Their website fails to mention Mr Soros!
 

Analyzer

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The Soviet Union was a Mafia state run by fake ideologues supported by the secret police. It may not have started that way, but that is how it ended up.

Russia is still a Mafia state, except is is now run by the secret police with a fake nationalist ideology. It may not have started that way, but that is how it ended up.
Pretty much spot on, actually.
 

GDPR

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The OP is biased.
Why did you not include this?

"The law passed in July requires any NGO that receives foreign funding — from governments, groups or private citizens — and engages in vaguely defined political activity to register itself as a "foreign agent," provide detailed quarterly reports of its finances and identify itself as a foreign agent in any material it distributes.

Failure to comply would bring fines of up to 5,000 rubles (about $150) for members, 50,000 rubles ($1,150) for the heads of these organizations and up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) for the organizations themselves. Anyone who continues to participate in organizations that violated the rules can be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000) or sent to prison for two years."
You'll note that I've not commented on the context in which this specific change of the law is taking place. The OP concerned only this specific change in the law, no others. My sources did mention it. The context in which all this is taking place would require an extremely extensive OP as a great manner of factors are probably interrelated and of relevance one way or the other.

But please, in what way was it biased? Was the OP biased in a pro-Putin manner or an anti-Putin manner? Why did the exclusion of what you cited make it biased?

The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year

Their website fails to mention Mr Soros!
I quote from HRW's financial statement for 2011, which is found on their site under financials:

During the fiscal year ended June 30 2011, HRW received a pledge from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, of which George Soros is Chairman, for general support totaling $100,000,000. The grant will be paid in installments of $10,000,000 over ten years and has been recorded as temporarily restricted income in the statements and activities at its net present value of $91,862,153. The first installment of $10,000,000 was received in January 2011.
 
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milestogo

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You'll note that I've not commented on the context in which this specific change of the law is taking place. The OP concerned only this specific change in the law, no others. My sources did mention it. The context in which all this is taking place would require an extremely extensive OP as a great manner of factors are probably interrelated and of relevance one way or the other.

But please, in what way was it biased? Was the OP biased in a pro-Putin manner or an anti-Putin manner? Why did the exclusion of what you cited make it biased?
Anti Russian/Putin.
Human Rights Watch,Amnesty International etc are all financed by the USA and are active supporters of US geopolitical strategy.
Alexeyeva is along time CIA asset.... Radio Liberty and the Russian language section of the Voice of America.

Soros in conjunction with The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) a CIA front, have financed The Arab Spring and Colour Revolutions.
Those who accept this money are under US control.
 

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