What is happening:
In the last 6 months, several drastic changes have been proposed to the Russian constitution with major international implications (including allowing the current president to remain in power until 2036 & disregarding rulings of the European Human Rights Court). None of the international media are currently covering these proposed amendments to the Russian constitution which are scheduled to pass through the national poll “voting” on July 1, and contain multiple civic and human rights violations associated with it.
Here is a simplified summary (highlights) of what people are opposing and of what is going to become a reality for millions of Russian people on July 1, 2020.
On staying in power
- Zeroing President’s terms (Part 3 Article 81): Allows existing president to re-set number of served terms to zero and stay in power until 2036.
- Offering a life immunity to the president even after his term (Article 92)
- The opportunity for a president to become a lifelong senator within the Council of Federation (Part 2b Article 95)
On human rights
- Prohibiting actions calling for the alienation of parts of the territories of Russian Federation and calls for such actions (Article 67)
- Mentioning of a belief in God (Article 67)
- Protecting the institute of family as a unity between a man and a woman (Article 72)
On criminal justice and international law
- Ignore the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Rulings (Article 79). A provision stipulating that “decisions of interstate bodies” shall not be “subject to enforcement in the Russian Federation” if they run counter to the Constitution.
- Influence of executive and legislative branches of government on the judicial branch (article 83). [The president will be presenting to the Council of Federation candidates for the office of Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairmen of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and judges of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation; appoint chairmen, deputy chairmen and judges of other federal court].
Here is a link to the official document describing all the proposed changes (in RUS).
Millions of Russian people are absolutely shocked and are actively opposing these amendments online on Instagram, Meduza, Echo of Moscow and a handful of other independent Russian media sources using hashtags like #нетпоправкам #нетобнулению #нет2020 even though that means huge administrative fines for them (1/3 of an average monthly salary, ~200$) or a risk of going to jail for up to 15 days. Media outlets, including Meduza, have previously reported that Moscow’s civil servants were being forced to register for online voting ahead of the July 1 plebiscite on constitutional amendments, while urging their friends and family members to do the same.
Why it matters:
This is one of the most blunt and shameless violations of civic and human rights with implications that could last for decades if not centuries to come.
It doesn’t just legitimize staying in power for certain corrupt individuals, but it enables them to continue to fine and imprison people who speak out against it, to ignore international human rights laws, and to make these proposed amendments near impossible to revoke.
Given the connectedness of global economies, these changes are likely going to have an impact on other nations around the world and on our ability to advance the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
What action can you take to help:
- Please share this information with your network.
- If you have any access at all to international media, ask them to cover this story and support Russian people.
- Help us resurrect justice and law #нетпоправкам #нетобнулению #нет2020
Read the original article on Medium.
Olga Elizarova is a One Young World Ambassador, Yunus & Youth Fellow and Dubai Future Research Contributor at the Dubai Future Foundation.