Kyiv forbids denying

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The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was proposed a document that suggests putting in prison those who deny or justify the aggression of Russia towards Ukraine. The document presented by Poroshenko’s wing has all the chances to be approved by the relevant committee and then by the majority of votes.

Igor Artyushanko, a president’s wing representative, registered a law-in-draft in the Parliament. According to that law-in-draft, a person who denies or justifies the Russian aggression towards Ukraine should be jailed. Artyushanko proposes to make the necessary changes in the Penal Code.

The parliamentarian suggests the following: those who justify in public the actions of Russia are to be imposed a fine in an amount of $330-660. The further violation is to be punished by 3 years of imprisonment. In the deputies’ point of view such a law will allow to minimize pro-Russia influence in the Parliament of Ukraine. “Those who don’t recognize the aggression in the east of the country become the aggressor’s supporters,” says Oleg Medunitsya, the representative of the People’s Front (Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s party).

Igor Mosijchuk, the Vice chairman of the Verkhovna Rada’s committee on law enforcement regulation informs that the document is not under consideration yet, but “the committee will approve it as well as the majority of the deputies”. Oleg Medunitsya supports the law-in-draft: “Such a law is a good practice”.

Taking into account the active military actions in the east, the appearance of such an idea is not a surprise, considers a political scientist Vladimir Fesenko. According to him, even after the military actions cease in Donbas, Ukraine and Russia will have “a cold war”. Such laws-in-draft may be considered part of this war.

It’s a kind of a symbolic gesture like Lenin’s monuments destruction or streets’ renaming, admits a political expert Pyotr Maslyak. “We don’t already care about what Russia is going to do after that,” he adds. “In Ukraine we have neither freedom of the press nor law. If a country lacks law, it’s logical it lacks freedom of the press. No comments,” said Leonid Slutsky, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“We have to start a discussion with our colleagues from the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, who worry about the current situation in Ukraine. This discussion should be conducted at the European level. We are absolutely sure about the support of Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands. All those who were against the resolution on suspending the Russian delegation’s voting rights will support us,” highlights Igor Morozov, the Senator and a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

But human rights advocates consider the Ukrainian parliamentarians’ initiatives infringe the freedom of speech and some people’s rights.

Already now we can see how the new law can be executed. Thus, on February 8 a journalist Ruslan Kotsaba was arrested for a public appeal to a mobilization breakdown. They initiated two criminal cases against Kotsaba: the first one is treason-felony, and the second one is military activities impeding. “If Kotsaba appealed to mobilization breakdown, it means he infringed the law. There’s a war in the country,” explains Oleg Medunitsya.

On February 8 in Mariupol there was planned a meeting against mobilization. Earlier the Ministry of Internal Affairs Chairman’s adviser Anton Gerashchenko wrote on his Facebook page: “All the participants will be arrested for verification of the identity; after fingerprinting and photographing they will be released for some time. Let me remind you that my colleague Borys Filatov, a deputy, and I had offered a law-in-draft on criminalization for public appeals to mobilization breakdown”. As a result the meeting did not take place.

Text and pictures by GAZETA.RU