The Russian opposition’s alternative parliament, the National Assembly, has warned that there is a danger that the political terror unleashed in the country will escalate.
Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has proposed to end jury trials on people accused of committing crimes as part of a criminal group. In December 2008, Medvedev signed a law barring people suspected of “terrorism and extremism” from being tried by jury.
These measures are clearly aimed at ending trials by jury on cases linked to popular protests. The regime is thus depriving citizens of their right to express their views on the most difficult and important issues facing society, the National Assembly’s statement reads.
The measures are being taken in a situation where the rule of law is heavily undermined, the statement reminds. Political killings have become commonplace. Courts have degenerated into rubber stamps, handing out rulings predetermined by the country’s political leadership.
Russia’s law enforcement agencies claim that there are hundreds of thousands of “extremists” in the country. This would, in effect, mean that the country is in a state of civil war, the National Assembly’s statement says. In fact, the regime regards any opposition as criminal.
Real extremism and terrorism emerge when people have lost hope of defending their rights and interests through legal means, the National Assembly points out. The regime’s political repression and abolishment of the rule of law is pushing people to extreme methods of resistance.
In the National Assembly’s opinion, the regime’s measures are destroying Russia’s judicial system and people’s trust in courts, and creating the conditions for people to accept violent methods of resistance. The regime thus encourages the escalation of political terror and pushes the country toward civil war.
“Об угрозе эскалации политического террора в Российской Федерации”
Национальная Ассамблея, 01.09.2009