13 July 2012, 17:00

Duma in search of enemy. Statement of the International Society "Memorial"

Since May, the work of the State Duma has grown hysterical.

The bills, the sole purpose of which is to preserve the monopoly on power, are considered in the urgent order.

Following the adoption of the legally illiterate and politically extremely dangerous amendments to the legislation on assemblies, the State Duma has hastily amended the law on non-commercial organizations (NCOs). The haste if doing it is striking - one may think that the enemy is at the Moscow gate; and only the law amendments could save the Fatherland. The falsity of references - of course, oral ones - to the supposedly existing foreign experience is also striking.

However, the most striking (and the most eloquent) is a complete disregard of the opinion of the civil society. The bill was opposed by virtually all major Russian public organizations, the Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of Russian Federation, the Russian Ombudsman, and even the Public Chamber, set up by the Kremlin.

These objections were not even discussed by the Duma.

The reasons are obvious: the bill, absolutely senseless from the substantive viewpoint, has only one goal - to get a formal ground to label opponents as enemy's mercenaries. This method of "solving" pressing problems had been repeatedly used during the Soviet times. It looks like the current authorities have understood nothing in their country's history and have learned no lessons.

Board of the Society "Memorial"

July 13, 2012

Source: Human Rights Centre "Memorial"

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