Putin orders a review of the law on foreign agents and other measures
On 27 January, President Putin issued a set of Orders following a meeting of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC) on regulating foreign agent activities carried out by CSOs and media outlets.
Regulating the foreign agent activities of CSOs and media outlets
The Ministry of Justice, General Prosecutor’s Office and the HRC have been tasked to conduct a review by 1 May of legislation regulating foreign agent activity undertaken by CSOs and media outlets, including practical application of the law and removing organisations from the foreign agents’ register. These agencies will be able to submit proposals for improving the legislation if necessary.
Allowances for CSO employees and loans to organisations
The government must submit proposals by 1 May on the viability of providing benefits and incentives to heads of CSOs “who carry out their work without remuneration” as agreed by their management board.
Putin has asked the Bank of Russia and the Ministry for Economic Development to prepare and agree by 1 May procedural recommendations for credit organisations to “clarify the range of SONGO activities in order to simplify the provision of credit (loans) to such bodies, including soft-lending projects”.
Compensating orphans for rent payments
The government and regional executive authorities have until 1 June to consider proposals from the HRC to provide compensation to orphans for repayment of arrears on housing and utilities.
This would apply where orphaned children “are unable to use the residential property they previously occupied, including their being placed with guardians or under supervision in organisations for orphans and children left without parental care, or their receiving vocational training”.
Registration, pensions and other rights for the homeless
The Russian President wants proposals to be prepared by 1 May to improve registration procedures for people with no fixed abode, to resolve problems related to their pension provision and receiving health care at their place of residence.
Proposals are also to be submitted on additional measures to help CSOs in providing social support and medical care to people of no fixed abode.
Abuse and self-defence
Putin has asked Russia’s Supreme Court to carry out a review of judicial practice in criminal cases by 1 June “related to exceeding the limits of appropriate self-defence against abuse which is not life-threatening to the victim, or another person faced with an immediate threat of such aggression”.
The President has asked federal assembly chambers to prepare a draft law by 1 July that clarifies the meaning of “torture” under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN General Assembly Resolution 39/46 dated 10 December 1984) and for extending criminal responsibility for acts of torture committed by government officials.
Afforestation and capture of cetaceans
The President has ordered a review to be completed by 1 May on the appropriate conditions for afforestation on agricultural which is not being used for its original purpose. The results of this work are to be used to create mechanisms for ensuring its implementation, including carrying out climate change projects.
The government has also been asked to review and assess the effectiveness of the distribution of powers among federal authorities in the protection and development of nationally important special protected natural areas by 1 May and, if necessary, to submit proposals for granting additional responsibilities to these agencies.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has been instructed by the President to ensure compliance with legislation regulating the by-catch, protection and management of cetaceans, including the issue of fishing permits, by 1 December.
The list of Putin’s Orders has been published on the Russian President’s website (http://kremlin.ru/acts/assignments/orders/67660).
Translated by Neil Hailey