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  Thursday, August 11, 2022
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Russia's new law on counter-terrorism that came into force Friday imposes minimal restrictions on liberties
Russia's new law on counter-terrorism that came into force Friday imposes minimal restrictions on liberties, the deputy speaker of parliament's upper chamber said. Alexander Torshin said the law was liberal in comparison with similar laws in the United States, Britain, Spain and Israel, which also faced the problem of terrorism. "A certain totalitarianism in the fight against the plague of the 21st century is viewed in these countries as an inevitable but necessary evil," he said. "Russian lawmakers and the executive have followed another, more democratic path." Torshin said the lifting of most restrictions on journalists' activities in counter-terrorist operation zones and the refusal to impose a terrorist threat regime were examples of democracy. "As the chairman of the parliamentary commission for [the investigation of the terrorist attack on] Beslan, I can say that this law covers the main thing, the formation of a national counter-terrorism system," he said. "The law unites all power structures and this is highly important and necessary," the senator added. The new law, which gives the authorities sweeping powers to combat terrorism, came into effect Friday after its publication in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. It includes a raft of measures for dealing with terrorist attacks, approves new powers for the secret services in prevention of terrorism, and authorizes the armed forces' involvement in counter-terrorism operations. Terrorist activities under the new law include the organization, financing and carrying out of terrorist attacks, as well as formation of or involvement in illegal armed units, criminal groups or groups organized to carry out terrorist attacks. It also bans organizations whose "aims and actions are focused on propaganda, justification and support of terrorism." The law says the armed forces can be used to "intercept planes that are used for terrorist acts or have been hijacked by terrorists," and to prevent terrorist acts on water.
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