Tatarstan Council Speaks Out Against Russia's New Anti-Terrorism Laws

United Russia party member Irina Yarovaya

The Tatarstan State Council has opposed the adoption of new anti-terrorism laws passed by the Russian State Duma last week, the Meduza news website reported Tuesday.

The package of new laws, spearheaded by ultra conservative United Russia lawmaker Irina Yarovaya and Russian Federation Council member Viktor Ozerov, aims to introduce tougher penalties for 'extremist crimes.'

Former President of Tatarstan and current state adviser, Mintimer Shaimiev, questioned a number of new policies in the package, including a proposed ban on missionary activity in certain residential areas.

Shaimiev urged senators against approving the bill, saying that it had been rushed and needed more consideration and discussion. He maintained that he was not against the bill and did not want it to be cancelled, Meduza reported.

Senators Oleg Morozov and Ildus Akhmetzyanov will present the State Council's position to the Federation Council before they vote on the bill on Wednesday, June 29.

The proposals in the controversial law package are wide-ranging and include harsher penalties for inciting or justifying terrorism online, requiring parcels to be checked for illegal items and increasing the number of crimes with which children aged between 14 and 17 can be charged.

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