Espreso. Global

New Russian law targets critics of Ukraine war with property seizure – The Guardian

23 January, 2024 Tuesday
14:40

The Kremlin is pushing for a law that could lead to the confiscation of assets from critics of the Ukraine war, a move supported by major political parties

The Guardian writes about it.

A draft legislation presented in Russia's State Duma seeks to allow the government to seize money and property from individuals convicted of crimes like "discrediting the Russian army" or advocating foreign sanctions. The bill is likely to become law as it gains support across political lines.

The article notes that the proposed law aims to empower the government to seize funds and assets linked to illegal activities or those perceived to threaten national security, as determined by court orders. It could also authorize the confiscation of payments received by journalists or researchers found guilty of spreading "fake information" about the Ukraine invasion.

The government openly acknowledges that these laws are targeting anti-war Russians, with a series of legislations introduced since Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The Chair of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, emphasized the need to punish those who "betray" Russia and compensate for the damage caused through property confiscation.

Russians risk losing their property if convicted of spreading “false information” about the army, discrediting the army, endorsing sanctions against Russia, supporting extremism or nazism, or posing threats to state security. The law also extends to those aiding international decisions that exclude Russia.

Legal experts caution that this law could make it simpler for the government to penalize anti-war Russians, even those who have fled the country. Maria Nemova, a lawyer for the Memorial human rights group, told the Guardian that these amendments primarily target the "internal enemy" — war opponents expressing their views.
 

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