Authorities Adopt Law on Counteraction to Extremism
The Chamber of Representatives adopted in the first reading the law “On counteraction to extremism”.
Alies Bialiatski, chairman of HRC Viasna, expressed his opinion about it in his interview to RFE/RL:
-- This law brings nothing principally new and doesn’t provide lots of amendments. There’s no need to fuss that much. All the practices used by the authorities towards public organizations, parties and activists on the basis of the existing laws have been put into one more law.
What matters here is the change of the notions and the labels that can be put on NGOs. Now they will speak of extremism, which communicates the nervousness and certain danger the authorities allegedly see in the activity of certain organizations and persons.
All the punishments that are enlisted in the law (written warning, suspension of activity, liquidation or NGO) can be also found in the law on NGOs and the authorities successfully use them to make short work of public opponents. For the last three years they have already stopped the activity of more than 150 organizations with the assistance of the justice ministry. The same concerns political parties. The law “On mass media” contains the restricting norms that have been put into the law “On counteraction to extremism”. We simply come to a new level of political expression – the new law will be used as instrument of propagandist and ideological pressurization.