Russia Reviews Draft Bill To Seize Dissidents’ Assets

'The Scoundrel Law': Russia Reviews Draft Bill To Seize Dissidents' Assets

The move has drawn comparisons with the witch hunts of the 1930s. (File)

Russia’s parliament began considering a draft bill on Monday which would give the state the power to seize the property of people convicted for defamation of the armed forces or for calling publicly for actions that undermine state security.

The move has drawn comparisons with the witch hunts of the 1930s under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin with their “enemy of the state” rhetoric, and could affect thousands of Russians who have spoken out against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Criticising what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine has effectively been a crime in Russia from the day it began almost two years ago, but the new bill aims to make penalties for that even tougher.

It would allow the state for example, to seize the property of Russians who have left the country and have criticised the war but who continue to rely on revenue from renting out their houses or apartments in Russia.

The speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, has dubbed the new bill “the scoundrel law”.

“Everyone who tries to destroy Russia, betrays it, must be pubished accordingly and repay the damage to the country in the form of their property,” he said at the weekend while announcing the submission of the bill.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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