They say these bills have “the purpose or effect of criminalising peaceful protests”. Kaye and Kiai underscorethat these “undemocratic bills” come at a time when large protests are frequently taking place.
But this is no coincidence. It appears that lawmakers are attempting to crush threats to the status quo.
UN experts recently condemned Russia for its treatment of peaceful protesters. Last weekend, there were demonstrations across Russia following allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Police arrested up to 1,000 protesters. Some were sent to prison or fined. The US State Department also criticised Russia. It called the situation an affront to democratic values.