Yesterday Duma deputies gave a second reading to the bill “On counteraction to extremist activity.” Although the document passed the first reading rather successfully, the second one promised to be really hot.
Many deputies were confused with a rather broad interpretation of the word extremism. Liberals think that vague wording allows to apply sanctions, including even closing, to practically any political party or public movement. Representative of the Russian president in the Duma Alexey Kotenkov shares the opinion, as he thinks that definitions of extremism and extremist activity are to be more precise in the law. In his words, it is still disputed, whether it is possible to suspend activity of an extremist organization before legal proceedings. At the same time Alexey Kotenkov admits that suspension of party activity or its liquidation is possible only through a judicial procedure.
After long debates deputies have finally reached consensus on the problem. The recent pogrom organized by football fans on the Manezh square in Moscow made deputies more tolerant. Lawmakers are scared with inability of the power to resist raging youth. But now law enforcement authorities are getting all trump cards. For sure, it is necessary to create a law to implement it as concerning extremist actions. But a question arises at the same time: will law enforcement authorities be able to adequately use the power that is to be conferred to them by the law? As for the pogrom on the Manezh square, the following conclusions have been drawn: a company, that demonstrated a commercial on the huge monitor where the World Cup was televised, was announced guilty of the clashes. It was said, the commercial provoked the fans to organize the pogrom. Press-secretary of Moscow mayor Sergey Tsoi told Interfax Friday, the huge monitor on the Manezh square is to be dismantled, as a contract with the company demonstrating commercials on it would not be prolonged. “It is not a political action, but a decision taken because the company operating the monitor violated a term of the agreement. It televised a commercial that provoked football fans to violence during the Russia – Japan game,” said Sergey Tsoi. The monitor is to be dismantled within the nearest time. Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/21/42983.html