Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russian Duma Passes New Law on Police Despite “NO” From Opposition

Posted by Info on 29/01/2011

The law introduces a number of significant changes to the work of Russia’s law enforcement agency.
The document clearly defines police officers’ rights and duties, and sets some new limits to their authority. At the same time, though, the agency gets more rights when it comes to providing security in places that could potentially be targets of terrorist attacks. In addition, it gives it a new name – “politsiya” – as opposed to “militsiya”, which it inherited from the Soviet Era.In addition, the staff of the Russian police will be reduced by 20 % by January 1 2012.

BUT the law leaves space for different interpretations which could be used to violate citizens’ rights.

Before being finally passed, the law went through several stages, both on the level of legislators’ debates and on the internet – by ordinary citizens. For the first ever time, on Medvedev’s initiative, the draft was published online for the public to express their opinion. Some of the proposals Russians made during the nationwide discussion were later added as amendments to the bill.

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