Putin signed two laws that restrict freedom of expression
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the amendments to the article in Russia’s Criminal Code on “obstruction of the right to freedom of conscience and religion” as well as the bill against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”.
Both bills were previously adopted by Russian Duma on June 11 and are part of a large-scale assault against human rights launched by Russian authorities recently.
“By signing these laws, President Putin commits a gross violation of the right of freedom of self-expression and assembly. The legislation is clearly aimed at cracking down on the civil society and individual rights in the Russian Federation”, says Joanna Kurosz, programme director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Civil Rights Defenders.
On Saturday, police detained 58 people taking part in a manifestation organized in support of sexual minorities in Saint Petersburg. When trying to disperse the protest, police resorted to beating demonstrators. Authorities claimed that the demonstration was illegal and in violation of the “gay propaganda” law. Demonstrators who refused to leave the manifestation were detained by police and 8 people were detained for violation of public order.
Tags: Propaganda laws and Vladimir Putin.