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Belarus Toughens the Law on "Extremism"

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Belarus Toughens the Law on "Extremism"

Aliaksandr Lukashenka has signed the law, which introduces the criminal liability for extremism, participation in military actions in other countries.

The document is published on April 22 on the National Legal Internet Portal.

The draft law "On Amendments and Changes to Some Laws of the Republic of Belarus" was adopted by the "House of Representatives in two readings on April 4. On the same day it was adopted by the "Council of the Republic" of the "National Assembly".

"The main objective is to reduce risks and threats of the extremism. Its urgent character is determined with a current dynamic situation in the national security, as well as international liabilities of the country," Valery Vakulchyk, Chairman of the State Security Committee of Belarus, stated, while presenting the draft law.

There are amendments to norms. It all affects countering extremist organizations, prevention of the Belarusians from involvement in military conflicts abroad, restriction to use so-called Molotov cocktails with an anti-social and offensive purpose, BelaPAN reports.

Paragraphs "Creation of an Extremist Unity" and "Financing of the Extremist Activity" were added to the Criminal Code of Belarus.

The creation of an extremist unity, supervising of it or its structural division implies restriction of liberty up to five years or imprisonment from three to seven years. The same violations committed by an administrative official with the use of the position are subject to restriction of liberty from three to five years or imprisonment from six to ten years.

Transportation of materials with calls to extremist activity or their propaganda is also liable.

While presenting the draft law, the KGB's Chairman stressed that the criminal liability for extremism extends only to heads and those financing the extremist activity, "who have a complete sense of their dangerous activity."

The administrative liability for dissemination of information with an extremist content is also extended. Amendments to Art. 17.11, Administrative Code, introduce liability for distribution of extremist materials, involving those not present in the publican list.

The law stipulates that participation of a Belarusian citizen or a person without citizenship, who permanently resides in the republic, in armed gangs one of the warring parties abroad, as well as participation in an armed conflict, hostilities, without authorization of the State and in the absence of evidence of a crime, under article 133 "Mercenarism" of the Criminal Code, is subject to restriction of liberty for up to five years or deprivation of liberty for a term from two to five years.

The recruitment, training, other training or the use of Belarusian citizens or permanently residing persons without citizenship for their participation in armed gangs, an armed conflict and war on the territory of a foreign state, as well as financing or other material support of such activities in the absence of evidence of a crime, under Article 132 "recruitment, training, financing and the use of mercenaries" of the Criminal Code, is subject to deprivation of liberty for a term from five up to ten years.