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Hundreds Protest Against Russia's New Antiterror Law

Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny addresses demonstrators protesting against new antiterror legislation in Russia on August 9.

Several hundred people have protested in a wooded park in northeastern Moscow against new antiterrorism legislation that critics have denounced as a massive state encroachment on privacy and civil liberties.

The package of laws and amendments to the legislation signed into law by President Vladimir Putin last month includes provisions stiffening punishment for extremism and terrorism and holding individuals criminally responsible if they fail to report others to the authorities in connection with certain crimes.

It also increases the government's surveillance capabilities, requiring communication providers to store users' calls, messages, photographs, and videos for six months.

At the August 9 demonstration in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park, some people carried banners reading "Down with political repression."

"There are lots of terrible things in this legislation, many unconstitutional things that we can object to as citizens," Kremlin critic Anton Nossik said.

"We should return to the streets," opposition leader Aleksei Navalny told the crowd. "We'll make Russia free."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP