It's been quite a rough summer in Russia so far. On July 7th, 2016 Mr. Putin signed a new bill, known as "Yarovaya Law." While human rights organizations around the globe are trying to make sense of this "draconian law", citizens of Russia are as always silent. Here is a break-down of several new policies, that overthrow the Constitution of the Russian Federation:
- the new law makes it a crime not to report information about terrorist attacks and other, even much smaller crimes (throwback to the days when in the Soviet Union neighbors were writing false reports on each other out of fear being punished)
- requires telecoms to assist the government to break into encrypted messages (the stocks for those telecoms crashed the day the law was signed)
- increases the strongest penalty for "extremism" from four to eight years of imprisonment (posts on Russian social network VK that promote something unappealing for Kremlin are considered extremism as well)
- children as young as fourteen are now considered old enough to be locked up
- proselytizing, preaching, praying, or disseminating religious materials outside of "specially designated places," like officially recognized religion institutions are considered a punishable crime
Tanya Lokshina, a program director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that the bill "will severely curb people's right to exercise free expression and other fundamental freedoms in Russia."
Which is true, of course. Let's take a look at the Constitution of Russian Federation.
Article 23. 1. Everyone shall have the right to the inviolability of private life, personal and family secrets, the protection of honor and good name.
2. Everyone shall have the right to privacy of correspondence, of telephone conversations, postal, telegraph and other messages. Limitations of this right shall be allowed only by court decision.
Article 24. 1. The collection, keeping, use and dissemination of information about the private life of a person shall not be allowed without his or her consent.
Article 28 1. Everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or together with other any religion or to profess no religion at all, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other views and act according to them.
The Constitution has died, along with human rights and freedoms in my country.