Commisar Putin and the Death Of Freedom In Russia

A new law, proposed in Russia and backed by Putin, would essentially label any criticism as “treason”:

New legislation backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would allow Russian authorities to label any government critic a traitor — a move that rights activists said Wednesday was a chilling throwback to times of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The bill, which is expected to become law, would expanded the definition of treason to include damaging Russia’s constitutional order, sovereignty or territorial integrity. That, rights activists said, would essentially let authorities interpret any act against state as treason — a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Activists said that would catapult Russia’s justice system back to the times of Stalin’s purges, calling it “legislation in the spirit of Stalin and Hitler.”

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Given Putin and Russia’s recent behavior, no one can claim this comes as any sort of surprise.

Democracy is a process, and it doesn’t guarantee freedom. In fact, depending on the system, it may be freedom’s worst enemy.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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