Russian Duma Widens Definition Of Treason
October 23, 2012
Russia's lower house of parliament has overwhelmingly approved a new bill widening the definition of high treason in what critics say is part of the Kremlin's crackdown on dissent.
Current legislation defines high treason as espionage or other assistance to a foreign state damaging Russia's external security.
The new bill expands it to include moves against Russia's "constitutional order, sovereignty. and territorial and state integrity."
The bill, drafted by the Federal Security Service (FSB), also changes the interpretation of treason to include activities such as financial or consultative assistance to a foreign state or an international organization.
The bill, which the lower house overwhelming approved on October 23, is all but certain to be approved by the upper house before President Vladimir Putin signs it into law.
Based on reporting by AP and vesti.ru
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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