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On September 21, the State Duma passed in the first reading the draft law On amendments to the Criminal Code and Article 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation. Specifically, articles 275 (high treason) and 276 (espionage) have been targeted for modification. The bill is also expected to introduce a new article to the Criminal Code – 283.1, the “illegal receipt of information constituting a state secret.”
A bill including amendments to Article 20.3 of Russia’s Administrative Code, a section of the law On Countering Extremist Activity dealing with the display, manufacture, purchase and sale of Nazi attributes and symbols, was proposed in April and passed last week at a first reading in the State Duma. Sova opposes the initiative for reasons including the law’s vague wording, which provides for widespread abuse.
On June 5, Mark Feigin, counsel to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, posted on his blog that Russian authorities decided on May 28 to prosecute his client under Part 2 of Article 213 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy of hate) over her alleged participation in Pussy Riot's punk prayer at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. The indictment includes troubling passages that seem to be in direct conflict with elements of the Russian Constitution.