The head of the CEC spoke about their not violated rights, the president spoke about the shortcomings of the laws
The President of Russia and the head of the CEC Ella Pamfilova, discussing the results of the elections held in the fall, touched upon the topic of legislation on foreign agents. What Vladimir Putin said gives rise to little hope, if not for a softening of the existing laws on foreign agents, then at least for some adjustment in the practice of their application. This topic will certainly be raised during the President's meeting with members of the Human Rights Council, scheduled for December 9.
Ella Pamfilova and Vladimir Putin talked on December 3, Friday, and it remained to wait a little to find out whether the Ministry of Justice would, by an unkind tradition, expand the list of various “foreign agents” – NGOs, public associations without the formation of a legal entity, the media, “individuals performing the functions Media-foreign agent “, and just individuals: it just so happened that in recent months the expansion of” black lists “was most often announced on Friday nights.
Telling the head of state about the September voting and the summer election campaign, Ms. Pamfilova emphasized: “Since the topic of foreign agents is being heard now, I would like to say that none of them was deprived of their rights in these elections.” One candidate at the federal level, she said, and six people in the regions “participated along with everyone else,” despite the fact that they were either affiliated with “foreign agents” or directly by these “agents”.
None of them won the election, we note.
In addition, Pamfilova continued, both among the observers and among the media that covered the campaign and the voting process, there were also “foreign agents, and they worked” for on an equal footing with everyone else. “
Then, unexpectedly, the president decided to intervene. “I know your position, which is to carefully look, analyze the practice of applying this law, and make certain adjustments there. I know about it, “he said.
” Yes, you are right. There it is necessary to streamline it so that it is more effective and targeted, purposeful, targeted, “agreed the head of the CEC.
” To meet the goals for which it was adopted, “the president continued.
“Yes, and did not undeservedly hit those who do not deserve …” – said the head of the CEC.
“He did not violate the rights of citizens,” the president summed up.
Assurances that the status of a “foreign agent” does not interfere with living and working for those who are on the “black lists” of the Ministry of Justice – there would be a desire, they say – have recently been heard more and more often from the lips of government officials. Literally the day before, the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, talking about preparations for the large press conference of Vladimir Putin scheduled for December 23, drew attention to the fact that some media foreign agents would be invited by the Kremlin, because the status of “foreign agents,” according to him, is not a ban for the media to work in Russia …
It is noteworthy that in his first remark, pulling the topic of “foreign agents” to the surface from the general heap, the president at first spoke only about “law enforcement practice” and the introduction of certain corrections “there”. But Ella Pamfilova, it seems, had in mind precisely the amendment of the law on foreign agents (of which there are actually several), because she used the pronoun “he”. And then the president also switched to the masculine gender, apparently also talking about the law.
On December 9, the head of state plans to communicate via video link with members of his Council for Human Rights and Civil Society Development. It can be assumed that in preparation for this annual event, he plunged into the problem, because with a very high probability one of the HRC members will voice it.
It is worth recalling that during the autumn months at least it became known about several attempts to amend the legislation on “foreign agents”.
Some members of the HRC and the Union of Journalists of Russia prepared their own version of the amendments (recognition by foreign agents in court is one of the main proposals here, along with, for example, easing the requirements for labeling information posted by natural persons-“foreign agents” in social networks): these amendments were submitted to Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications.
The chief editors of a number of Russian media outlets (among them – the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov) also prepared 12 amendments, the main of which can be called recognition of the “foreign agent” only by the court and only if the connection between the received abroad with money and political activity in the interests of the state from which the money came. These amendments were submitted to the Presidential Administration.
But at the moment, the only legally formalized initiative aimed at softening the current rules is a bill submitted to the State Duma on November 17, which was signed by most of the members of the Just Russia – For Truth “Headed by its leader Sergei Mironov. This document speaks only of foreign media agents and individuals performing the functions of foreign media agents. The relevant Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications has not yet begun its consideration.
Everyone is waiting for what the president will say to human rights defenders on December 9 – if he says, of course.
Meanwhile, on the resource change.org petition for the complete abolition of laws on foreign agents has received almost 259 thousand signatures and is one of the most widespread.