Wednesday, December 17, 2008

As bad as Harper is...

It could be worse:

Russian treason bill could target Kremlin critics

MOSCOW (AP) — Under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, people who fraternized with foreigners or criticized the Kremlin were "enemies of the people" and sent to the gulag. Now there's new legislation backed by Vladimir Putin's government that human rights activists say could throw Russia back to the days of the Great Terror.

The legislation, outspoken government critic and rights activist Lev Ponomaryov charged Wednesday, creates "a base for a totalitarian state."

Government supporters and Kremlin-allied lawmakers said the bill — submitted to the Kremlin-friendly parliament last week — will tighten up current law. Supporters say prosecutors often have trouble gaining convictions because of ambiguities in the definition of state treason.

The bill would add non-governmental organizations based anywhere in the world that have an office in Russia to the list of banned recipients of state secrets. The government has repeatedly accused foreign spy agencies of using NGOs as a cover to foment dissent.

Critics warned the loose wording will give authorities ample leeway to prosecute those who cooperate with international rights groups.

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7 Comments:

  • No wonder Putin is so fond of Chretien.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:59 PM  

  • No wonder harper was so fond of George Bush Jr.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:56 AM  

  • As much as I roll my eyes at the immature politics here, I am always glad I don't live in Russia (or many other places). Man we are lucky, lucky people.

    By Anonymous jason bo green, at 8:35 AM  

  • Did you know that J. Stalin was one of the favourites of Harper?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:57 AM  

  • But at least Stalin never asked the press gallery reporters to submit their names to his press secretary in advance of them asking questions...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:18 AM  

  • Yes, at least Stalin has that to his credit... ;) Haha. He's probably rolling over in his grave as we type, wailing, "Why didn't I think of that????"

    By Anonymous jason bo green, at 10:54 AM  

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