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Key Points Of Ukraine's Antiprotest Laws

Key Points Of Ukraine's Antiprotest Laws

The sweeping legislation:

* Introduces criminal responsibility for libel and further criminalizes "extremist activity." For instance, the production or sharing, including through media, of "extremist papers" that might involve calling for "mass riots" may lead to a fine or up to three years' imprisonment.

* Makes it an offense to wear a mask or helmet at a public rally. Doing so could lead to a fine of up to $520 or up to 15 days' detention.

* Outlaws protest motorcades of more than five cars without police permission. Punishment here ranges from a fine of up to $100 to confiscation of the car and suspension of a driving license for up to two years.

* Bans the unauthorized setting up of stages or tents during public rallies, punishable by a fine of up to $620 or up to 15 days' detention.

* Introduces harsh criminal penalties for certain violations. For example, blocking access to living quarters is an offense punishable by up to six years in prison.

* Requires all mass media providing information services to the public to register as an "information agency." Internet users in Ukraine may be banned from the Internet based on an expert decision that they disseminate criminal information.

* Requires nongovernmental organizations that receive funding from foreign sources and participate in "political activities" to register as "foreign agents." Such groups must include the words "foreign agent" in their names and all their materials, and are required to pay income tax. "Foreign agents" will have three months to register, and failure to comply may lead to the organization being disbanded.

* Enables parliament to strip deputies of immunity without pre-approval by a special parliamentary committee.