Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, is considering a controversial bill that grants the state the authority to seize the property of individuals convicted of defaming the security forces or criticizing the war in Ukraine.
The proposed amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes were announced on Monday, raising concerns about freedom of expression and dissent in the country.
According to the State Duma’s statement, the bill targets “public calls for activities directed against the security of the state, for discrediting the army, and a number of other articles.”
Several officials, including Vyacheslav Volodin, the Speaker of the State Duma, co-authored the bill.
“Everyone who tries to destroy Russia, betrays it, must suffer the deserved punishment and compensate for the damage inflicted on the country at the cost of their property,” Volodin said.
The existing law against “discrediting” the Russian military, which covers offences such as “justifying terrorism” and spreading “fake news” about the army, is regularly used to target Putin’s critics.