On 6 July 2016, President Putin signed draconian
new anti-terrorism legislation (the Yarovaya Law) that
will suppress religious freedom in Russia. In fact, the Yarovaya Law poses severe threats to the fundamental human rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by Russia’s
Constitution and its international human rights obligations.
particularly concerned about the amendments that introduce an entire new
section to the Religion Law, imposing strict limits on sharing beliefs,
including where and who may share them, and increase extremism punishments.
As impact studies are now being done and a set of instructions are being developed for the Law’s implementation, we urge President Putin to ensure the Yarovaya Law is not used against peaceful spiritual groups.
The Yarovaya Law represents an unprecedented assault on
religious freedom that has not existed since Soviet times. It restricts the
dissemination of beliefs in public to registered groups and organizations, and
bars even informal sharing of beliefs by individuals acting on their own behalf. Perhaps most concerning, it restricts the beliefs that can be shared,
limits the places where sharing beliefs can happen and explicitly bans sharing
beliefs in residential buildings.
Yarovaya Law also includes amendments to the Criminal Code which will substantially
increase punishments for violations of these restrictions on religious freedom.
Russia is a great power, and with great power status comes the need to act in
conformity with Russia's international human rights commitments.
We urge President Putin to ensure that instructions for implementation of the Yarovaya Law are adopted so that the Law is not used to
repress religious freedom against peaceful spiritual groups.
Here are links to articles about this repressive law:
See Forum 18 News Service
article, RUSSIA: Putin signs sharing beliefs, "extremism",
See Deseret News article, Russia's new 'big brother law' has Christians, Muslims and
Jews fearing for their religious freedom: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865657712/Russias-new-big-brother-law-has-Christians-Muslims-and-....
See Window on Eurasia
post, Draconian New Russian Law Seen Driving Religious Believers
Underground Just as in Soviet Times: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2016/06/draconian-new-russian-law-seen-driving.html
See Christian Post article, Thousands Fasting After Russian President Putin Signs Law Banning Evangelism Outside of Churches: http://www.christianpost.com/news/thousands-fasting-after-russian-president-putin-signs-law-banning-....
See Forbes article, 'Brave New World': Russia's New Anti-Terrorism Legislation: http://www.forbes.com/sites/annaborshchevskaya/2016/07/08/brave-new-world-russias-new-anti-terrorism....
See NY Times article, Russia Moves to Tighten Counterterror Law; Rights Activists
See Threat to Freedoms: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/25/world/europe/russia-counterterrorism-yarovaya-law.html?_r=2