Freedom of Conscience, Freedom of Expression under Attack. Religious Liberty expected to be severely restricted.

Russia: Counterterror Law tightened, Basic Freedoms threatened

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Moscow/Russia, 24.06.2016 (NYT) – Russian lawmakers adopted on Friday a set of measures that proponents said were aimed at combating terrorism, but that human rights activists condemned as an assault on freedoms of speech, privacy and conscience.

The measures, passed on Friday by the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, introduced a prison sentence of up to one year for failure to report a terrorist act or armed mutiny in the planning stages. The lawmakers also forced cellular and internet providers to store all communications data for six months and to help security services decipher all messaging applications.

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The bill, which must be approved by the upper chamber and signed by President Vladimir V. Putin, also banned proselytizing, preaching and praying outside officially recognized religious institutions, among other measures.

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