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Federation Council gave the green light to controversial bill
The Federation Council on Monday, November 25, approved a bill that allows the citizens of the Russian Federation to be recognized as foreign agents with all the ensuing consequences. Thus, the document moves at the speed of a courier express. Last Thursday, November 21, it was adopted in the third reading by the State Duma.
At the same time, the head of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, in a rather vague form, instructed the profile committee to monitor excesses in the application of the law in practice and did not rule out its amendment, if necessary..
Recall, in accordance with the document, both individuals and legal entities that distribute media materials – foreign agents or participate in their creation for an appropriate monetary remuneration.
Read more about the new legislative initiative here
The document has enough critics. They are even on the Federation Council.
Thus, Senator Lyudmila Narusova believes that such a law is not needed at all, since the country has “a sufficient legislative base, including a repressive one” in relation to the media. Also, according to the senator, the document is full of ambiguities that allow one to freely interpret its provisions, which leaves room for arbitrariness..
Earlier, the ex-head of the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia Mikhail Fedotov called the bill on natural persons-foreign agents “abracadabra”.
Aleksandr Ryklin, editor-in-chief of Yezhednevny Zhurnal, is convinced that the document cannot be corrected or made more or less acceptable. According to the journalist, the very wording “Russian citizens – foreign agents” does not fit into any gate “.
“How can this be corrected !? – he is indignant in a conversation with the correspondent of the Russian service “Voice of America”. – The law cannot be improved even in the part where it concerns public organizations, NGOs. It just needs to be completely abolished, or ignored, or dealt with, but not in any way strive to improve the bullshit’s delirium. “.
According to the editor-in-chief of “Daily Journal”, this is an extremely repressive measure, sucked from the finger: “Apparently, they will now make all their fantasies come true in this way. And you shouldn’t pay attention to Matvienko’s instructions. What is it to enforce the law? Complete nonsense “.
As for the direction of the bill and how it will operate, Aleksandr Ryklin has no doubts about this: “In my opinion, they (the authors of the initiative) themselves very frankly said that the law would be exclusively selective in nature. In plain text. Consequently, whoever the authorities want will be made a foreign agent. For example, your humble servant, who actively cooperates with Radio Liberty, or thousands of other people who want to complicate their lives “.
At the same time, the journalist does not think that the law will immediately begin to be applied according to the principle of “carpet bombing”. Perhaps, at first, it will indeed be used rather carefully, he admitted, making a reservation that here you still cannot guess.
Svetlana Kuzevanova, senior lawyer at the Center for the Protection of Media Rights, drew attention to the strange logic of the document. It seems to her that it is akin to the logic that gave rise to Russian economic counter-sanctions in response to Western measures introduced after Russia annexed Crimea and unleashed bloody civil strife in eastern Ukraine..
“This is a kind of a vision of how everything should be regulated,” she said during a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America. – In fact, it seems to me that this is a fairly common tactic of Russian legislators: to beat with a truncheon instead of trying to finely regulate. Which, in particular, is confirmed by numerous laws on blocking. We will endlessly come up with retaliatory measures, but where this will lead, no one knows. “.
There can be no point laws in principle, the media expert emphasized: “How do we know where these“ points ”are, which the authors of the bill mean? If the law applies to a wide range of people, then it can be applied to absolutely any person, to the same bloggers. How can it be applied only to 20-30 persons? This is absurd “.
The bill is legally illiterate, extremely vague and vague, summed up Svetlana Kuzevanova.
The law will enter into force after it is signed by the President of the Russian Federation and published in the media..