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Russian draft anti-terror law slammed

[JURIST] Critics of a new draft Russian anti-terror law said Wednesday that the legislation recently introduced in the Russian parliament by pro-Kremlin legislators in the wake of the Beslan school massacre this fall is far too broad, and is unduly restrictive of public and press freedoms. The 50-page draft authorizes the declaration of a "state of terrorist danger" for up to 60 days anywhere in the country that a terror attack has taken place, or where the government has information, confirmed or unconfirmed, that an attack may take place. If a declaration is made, government authorities are empowered to ban public demonstrations, tap phones, conducting spot street checks and restrict movements of people and traffic. In the event of a terror incident, public information will be provided through a single a designated spokesman for counter-terror operations. Opponents of the legislation call it a "double-edged sword" that could be abused in the wrong hnads, while supporters of the legislation emphasize the overriding importance of public security. Reuters has more.

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