Russian Parliament OKs controversial treason bill
MOSCOW - Agence France-PresseRussia’s upper house of Parliament has passed a hugely controversial bill broadening the definition of high treason to include passing NGOs harmful information.
The Federation Council passed the bill with 138 senators in favor, none against and one abstention, clearing the final legislative hurdle before President Vladimir Putin. The bill lists as high treason not only passing secret information to foreign governments, but also giving out consultations or financial help, including to international organizations, if they are engaged in “activities directed against the security of Russia.” The current treason law does not mention international organizations and applies only to activities hurting “foreign security.”
Rights activists and lawyers have said that the broader definitions could criminalize sharing information with international organizations such as Amnesty International or even appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.