» 06/07/2012, 00.00
Crackdown on demonstrations on the eve of the new anti-Putin march
After Duma go ahead, the Russian Senate also approves the bill that tightens sanctions on those who engage in unauthorized demonstrations. Citizens risk having to pay up to 7 thousand euros. To become law it only needs the signature of the President.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - A controversial bill that exponentially increases the penalties for those who engage in unauthorized demonstrations is awaiting the signature of President Vladimir Putin to become law. According to the defenders of human rights, the text undermines the right to demonstrate freely, established in the Federal Constitution.
The controversial bill received yesterday, June 6, the green light from the Federation Council, after approval by the Duma yesterday, following an unprecedented debate which lasted 11 hours. The 1990s at the time of Yeltsin - whose parliament is remembered as the most unruly of modern Russia - was the last time such a heated session was witnessed with the opposition that brought a shower of amendments to the document proposed by the party majority United Russia.
For those taking part in unauthorized demonstrations, the new rules will increase prior sanctions by 200%: you may pay a maximum of 300 thousand rubles (7 thousand euros) for individuals, 600 thousand rubles for public officials (14 thousand euros) and one million rubles (23 thousand euros) for legal entities. To incur the fines it will be sufficient "to be gathered together at once" in a particular place. A clarification, which would seek to hinder even the most creative forms of protest staged by the opposition in recent months, such as walking the streets, sit-in in the parks or just showing off white ribbons, a symbol of protest.
In order to become law, the text just needs the signature of Putin. The head of the Federal Council for Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov, has already announced he will ask the head of the Kremlin to veto the document, considered contrary to Article 31 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression. Criticisms of the new law came not only from Russian opposition political forces, including from organizations like Human Rights Watch and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, has announced that the president "will listen to all voices" before making his decision. But hopes that the bill be rejected are very few: two days ago, Putin himself expressed support of the initiative, which - according to him- would unite Russia to legislation already in force in Europe.
If there are no unforeseen obstacles, the law could come into force on June 10, the eve of the next big anti-government demonstration called by the opposition in Moscow. This is a record time, note some lawmakers questioned by Russian media. "In the recent past - remembers senator Lyudmila Narusova - we voted with such speed only for entry into war" against Georgia in 2008.
Right to demonstrate at risk in Duma bill
Anyone who has been fined, or guilty of administrative violations can not organise public gatherings. Local authority control on all events reaffirmed, not just those unwelcome by the regime.
Moscow to launch law against gay propaganda and adoptions
The text was approved by the Russian Federation Council and now awaits only the signature of President Putin who has already expressed himself favorably. Fines and imprisonment for any public event related to the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender). Public opinion against gay adoptions. Law punishes with imprisonment the "insulting the religious feelings” also approved
Putin’s expected landslide marred by suspected electoral fraud
With 97 per cent of the vote counted, United Russia led by the Russian president wins big with 64.1 per cent of the vote. Four parties will be represented in Russia’s State Duma but only one will be really in the opposition. Turnout is high, reaching 99 per cent in Chechnya, but many international observers denounce illegalities, including a raffle for TVs in some polling stations.
Orthodox Church and scientists against euthanasia
Russia’s Federation Council is to vet a draft bill legalising euthanasia in ‘exceptional cases.’ “Doctors, lawyers and representatives of public organisations” will decide requests by terminal patients. “Absolutely amoral from the Christian viewpoint to help one commit a suicide,” says Moscow Patriarchate representative. Religious groups should be involved in the debate.
20/09/2016 11:24:00 RUSSIA
New Duma upholds status quo, but puts future at risk
Putin's party, United Russia, gets 76% of the seats and now will unilaterally carry out constitutional reforms. But experts say this is not the goal: the vote gave further legitimacy to regime ahead of the presidential vote in 2018. Experts: "The system as it is cannot last long. Today in Russia, Parliament is not the place to resolve conflicts, as in other democracies".
HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"
John Mok Chit Wai
A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.
The "enemies" of Pope Francis
The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."
15/10/2016 INDIA - VATICAN
15/10/2016 BANGLADESH - CHINA
14/10/2016 SYRIA - VATICAN
14/10/2016 UNITED NATIONS
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.