In Russia, Vladimir Putin locks individual freedoms a little more

MIKHAIL METZEL / AFP Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a videoconference meeting with disabled people and representatives of public organisations from his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, on December 2, 2022. – The meeting is held on the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which takes place under the auspices of the UN every year on December 3. (Photo by Mikhail METZEL / SPUTNIK / AFP) / *Editor’s note : this image is distributed by Russian state owned agency Sputnik.*

MIKHAIL METZEL / AFP

Vladimir Putin, here holding a videoconference meeting with people with disabilities and representatives of public organizations from his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, near Moscow in Russia, December 2, 2022.

RUSSIA – Vladimir Putin has just made it more difficult to organize demonstrations in Russia, by enacting a new law prohibiting demonstrations in public places.

Gatherings will now be banned in areas including government buildings, universities, schools, churches, airports, ports, stations or vital infrastructure, according to state news agency RIA, as reported this Monday, December 5 CNN.

Until then, demonstrations were prohibited near presidential residences, courts, prisons and emergency operational services.

Regional authorities may additionally introduce new bans on demonstrations on the basis of “historical, cultural or objective characteristics”.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has passed several laws restricting citizens’ freedoms, in particular a text introducing heavy prison sentences (up to 15 years’ imprisonment) for anyone publishing “false information” on the army.

Recently, the Russian president amended a law allowing detainees convicted of theft, murder, drug trafficking or other serious crimes to join the Russian army.

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