Lev Ponomarev: Step by Step to the 'Great Terror'

posted 19 Nov 2012, 01:23 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 19 Nov 2012, 07:21 ]
15 November 2012

Source: Echo of Moscow Radio 

On 14 November 2012 the new and notorious law on treason was officially issued, or rather, the corresponding set of amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. Just the day before, members of the newly constituted Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights had not been aware that Putin intended to sign it. In fact, а comment by the head of state on the need to avoid expanding the definition of treason (being the most terrible thing for society) and, with that in mind, reexamine the draft, was taken as a sign that miracles can happen and that the law would not be signed in its current wording. Just as it had been stopped three years ago. But the miracle did not happen. Retired Constitutional Court judge Tamara Georgievna Morshchakova warned Putin that his various remarks about the practice of law enforcement helping to smooth out deficiencies in the law were untenable. She said that this law allows for an accusation of treason to be made for "any assistance in an activity that may damage the security of the State, and it is no longer necessary to prove it. It isn't even necessary to prove that harmful consequences might happen. It is sufficient that law enforcement agencies believe that a particular activity... could be interpreted as treason against the Motherland." After all, law enforcement practice in today's Russia always leads to a further tightening of the law, as happened with such 'popular' Criminal Code articles as Drug Trafficking (228), Incitement of Hatred (282) and Fraud (159). [Read more]