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Russian Politicians Propose Scrapping Anti-Protest Law

Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Russian politicians want to scrap laws which punish activists for breaking anti-protest legislation.

Under Russian law, anyone who “repeatedly” holds unauthorized rallies, demonstrations, marches or pickets face up to five years in prison.

Four deputies from Russia's Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) want to repeal the legislation, which they say punishes activists twice for the same offense.

Deputies Igor Lebedev, Yaroslav Nilov, Sergei Ivanov and Andrei Svintsov submitted the proposal to the country's State Duma, where it will appear before politicians on Monday.

The men say that punishment doled out to repeat offenders is “disproportionate to the seriousness of [their] offenses.”

They also believe that the laws "moral and political costs" are "unacceptably high for society as a whole and individual citizens in particular."

The legislation, which came into force in July 2014, has already been used against prominent Russian activist Ildar Dadin.

Dadin is serving a 2.5 year sentence for unauthorized public protests. The activist had claimed to have suffered under torture at a penal colony in northern Russian, and has recently been transferred to a prison in the remote Altai region.

 

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