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Russian Rejects European Human Rights Court Ruling

The Russian Constitutional Court has rejected a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), giving prison inmates the right to vote in Russian elections, the Meduza news website reported Tuesday.

The Russian Constitutional Court said that the Strasbourg court had no right to demand a change to the Russian Constitution, which currently bars inmates in Russian prisons from taking part in elections. It is the first time that Russia has rejected an ECHR ruling.

“Russia, as a powerful force in the implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights, does not agree with changes to its own constitution. The Conventions have higher legal authority than the Federal Laws, but not than the Constitution,” the RBK news website quoted the court as saying.

“The only deprivation of the right to vote comes from being imprisoned,” the court said. “There is no discrimination between different types of convicts — it is simply all convicts.”

In December 2015 the State Duma passed a law repealing the priority of international law in Russia.

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