Duma criminalises defamation in attempt to silence opposition

The pro-Putin United Russia party has re-criminalised defamation, just half a year since it was decriminalised  on the initiative of ex-president Dmitry Medvedev.

The move is in line with Russian government’s authoritarian response to a number of mass protests. Since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin, the State Duma has passed scandalous laws against rally organisers, NGOs which receive financial support from abroad and a blacklist of websites, which lets authorities shut down websites without the court’s decision. (more…)