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Russian Bill Would Bar Foreigners From Protests

A Russian ruling-party lawmaker has drafted a bill that would prohibit foreigners from participating in public protests and other demonstrations.

United Russia member Yevgeny Fyodorov said on March 12 that the draft law has been presented to the State Duma, the lower parliament house, for discussions.

Fyodorov said the proposal is aimed "to prevent provocations during mass political rallies and subsequent civil unrest."

More than 400 people were detained after violence erupted at a protest on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration to a third term in May 2012.

Several people have been tried and imprisoned over the violence at the rally on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square, which the government and protesters blame on one another.

Investigators claimed that the protest was orchestrated by a Georgian politician.

Since then, Russia has tightened regulations for protests and increased punishment for violations, part of what rights activists say is a methodical clampdown on dissent.

Based on reporting by RIA and Moskovsky Komsomolets