Kremlin Rights Experts Lambast Rally Law

A working group of the Kremlin’s human rights council called the new law tightening rules on public rallies unconstitutional and enabling abuse on Thursday.

Both the contents of the bill and the method of its passing violated the Constitution, the group said. The bill was fast-tracked through both chambers of the federal legislature despite opposition parties’ vehement attempts to stop it.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign the bill into law before the opposition rally in Moscow on June 12, but said he may veto in case he finds it violating unspecified “universally accepted rules.”

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president will take into account all points of view before making his final decision on the issue.

“The president has already mentioned that he intends to thoroughly examine the bill with all the amendments,” Peskov said.

The bill hikes fines for protesters to a maximum of 300,000 rubles ($9,000) from the current 1,000 rubles and introduces a heap of red tape for public events, including unofficial ones. Critics have called it an attempt to suppress anti-Kremlin protests ongoing in Moscow since December.


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