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Russian Effort To Define Espionage, Treason Raises Concerns

Human rights activists in Russia are expressing concern over proposed amendments to the Criminal Code defining "espionage" and "state treason."

The amendments were proposed for discussion in the State Duma on December 12.

State Duma deputies Vladimir Vasilyev and Pavel Krasheninnikov refused to comment on the amendments.

Meanwhile, Moscow Helsinki Group chairwoman Lyudmila Alekseyeva told RFE/RL's Russian Service on December 15 that the amendments would create an all-encompassing definition that could put anyone who visits a foreign country or spoke to a foreigner in jail as a traitor.

Moscow-based lawyer Yury Shmidt said the proposed amendments would abuse human rights and freedoms.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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