Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chapter 29- a new dialogue?

A welcome sign this week that the legislature will revisit the Federation's much discussed and highly controversial Chapter 29 (Section X) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Chapter 29 relating to "Crimes against the fundamentals of the Constitutional System and State Security" includes statues relating to high treason, espionage and state secrets.

The review of the broadening of the interpretation of these laws seen over 2008 is being openly supported by President Medvedev in what Kremlin officials are using as a display of Medvedev's increased willingness to enter into a dialogue with the the public. The measures have been highly controversial and the debate over the interpretation has moved beyond jurists and freedom of speech NGOs to be discussed widely in the press.

A rare dialogue well worth continuing.

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