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21 April 2021, 13:02

Belarusian parliament's upper chamber passes amendments to laws on extremism

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – Members of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus have passed a bill on amending the laws on counteracting extremism, BelTA has learned.

Prosecutor General Andrei Shved said: “It is very important for us that the Council of the Republic has passed a bill aimed at counteracting extremism. The proposals and novelties the bill incorporates have been prompted by life, by the need to protect our country, sovereignty, our territorial integrity.”

In his words, international experience was taken into account in the course of preparing the bill. “The norms the bill stipulates provide for a complex of balanced measures. Those are prophylactic, preventive, and punishing measures. In other words, the state takes every measure not only to punish but primarily to prevent, to detect and, only after those measures are implemented, to decide on the responsibility of these persons,” the prosecutor general noted.

A registry of persons convicted of extremism will be introduced. “Respectively those, who have been punished for extremism, will face a number of prohibitions and restrictions. It is part of international practice. Grounds for criminal prosecution have been expanded. While the current Criminal Code provides for criminal prosecution only for organizing and leading an extremist formation, the new law will introduce criminal prosecution for people who actively participate, people who take care of recruiting, training, preparation of people for extremist activities. An accelerated procedure is introduced for courts of the first instance to rule on the prohibition of operation of organizations and self-employed businessmen demonstrating signs of extremist activities. A number of other novelties will be introduced so that we could promptly take measures to prevent manifestations of extremism in our country,” Andrei Shved concluded.

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