Ukrainian Law Amendments

The Verkhovna Rada has approved a number of bills without debate by a show of hands.

MPs toughen criminal liability for mass riots and seizure of buildings

Ukrainian Parliament amended the Criminal Code, toughening responsibility for riots, blocking and seizure of state or public buildings.

The relevant law by deputies from the Party of Regions Vadym Kolesnichenko and Volodymyr Oliynyk was passed at the Parliament’s session on Thursday.

The amendments stipulate that organizing of mass disturbances, accompanied by violence, riots, destruction of property, seizure of buildings and structures, shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of 5-10 years. In the previous version of the Criminal Code the maximum penalty for such actions was 8 years.

Calls for actions that threaten public order shall be punished by restriction of freedom for up to 5 years or imprisonment for a term of 2-6 years.

Seizure of state or public buildings and structures shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for a term of 3-5 years, or imprisonment for a term of 3-6 years. This article provides for additional penalty for blocking buildings or structures that ensure activities of state authorities, local authorities, associations of citizens. Such actions shall be punished by restriction of freedom for up to 5 years or imprisonment for the same term.

MPs allow restrict access to Internet without court’s ruling

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine allowed the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization to restrict access to the Internet on the basis of the experts’ conclusion.

235 MPs voted for the adoption of the draft law № 3879 (registered in the Verkhovna Rada by Party of Regions deputy Vadim Kolesnichenko).

The bill, in particular, provides for amendments to the law “On Telecommunications”, expanding the powers of the Commission to decide whether to restrict access of subscribers of telecommunications to news agencies without state registration or to Internet resources through which the information, contrary to law, is disseminated. Decision should be made on the basis of the experts’ conclusion about belonging of information to such, which distribution is illegal.

Ukrainians obliged to show passport to buy SIM-card

Ukrainians will have to conclude a contract with the operator to purchase a SIM-card. This is provided for by amendments to the Law “On Telecommunications”, which were adopted at the session of the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday (bill №3879 by MPs Vadym Kolesnichenko and Volodymyr Oliynyk).

The document, in particular, introduces the concept of identity telecom card – a tool, used to identify the subscriber’s terminal equipment in the network (SIM-card, USIM- card, etc.). Provision of telecommunications services using this card shall be carried out on the basis of agreement between telecommunications operator and consumer in accordance with the legislation.

This law shall come into force upon its publication.

MPs introduce photo and video recording of traffic rules violations

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the Law № 3855 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on administrative responsibility for offenses in field of road safety, recorded in the automatic mode”, the press service of Parliament reports.

Legislative act introduces automatic photo and video recording of exceeding speed limits, violation of traffic control, moving on the sidewalks or pedestrian paths, violation of movement through railroad crossings.

The person, whom the vehicle is registered for, must pay the fine or appeal the decision in court within ten days upon the receipt of the ruling.

Criminal liability for libel and extremist activity has been introduced in Ukraine

Relevant provisions are contained in the law by deputies of the Party of Regions Vadym Kolesnichenko and Volodymyr Oliynyk, adopted at the last meeting of the third session of the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday.

“Dissemination of false information, which disgrace the honor and dignity, causing mental suffering to a person, undermining his credibility and reputation, is often used as a means of political struggle to eliminate competitors. This situation negatively affects the morale of society, undermining the credibility of public authorities,” reads the explanatory note.

Lawmakers also believe that phenomenon of extremism is widely observed in Ukraine. “Extremism is activities aimed at the violent overthrow or change of the constitutional system, incitement of social, racial, national, ethnic, linguistic or religious enmity and hatred, holding the riots, public disturbances, acts of hooliganism and vandalism”.

Under the law, libel (deliberate dissemination of false statements disgracing honor and dignity of another person) is punishable by a fine up to 50 tax-free minimum incomes, or community service for up to 200 hours, or correctional labor for up to 1 year.

Parliament amends procedure of deputy immunity withdrawal

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law № 3883 “On Amendments to the Rules of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine”, improving the procedure for granting consent to prosecution, detention or arrest of the MP.

235 deputies voted for the decision.

The law optimizes timing of consideration of this issue by the Verkhovna Rada. All the facts related to the criminal charges, detention or arrest of people’s deputy of Ukraine shall be considered directly at the plenary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, with the participation of all the lawmakers, not in the relevant committee (an MP delivers speech, presents his written explanations, etc.).

Within consideration of this issue, an MP shall have the right to have a representative to expertly present their interests. MP shall be granted protection provided in the manner specified by the Code of Criminal Procedure and other laws.

The Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Law “Introducing Amendments to the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Judicial System and Status of Judges’ and to Procedural Laws for Additional Measures to Protect the Security of Citizens,” which envisages changes to the new law on NGOs concerning “public associations performing the functions of a foreign agent,” Hromadskyi Prostir informs.

The law is supposed to strengthen security measures in respect to certain categories of persons and subjects, to increase penalties for certain criminal and administrative offenses, establish additional enforcement measures for the protection of public order, the rights and legitimate interests of citizens.

However, the bill includes the following (source RISU):

2) Paragraph 14.1 in Article 14 will be supplemented with the sub-paragraph 14.1.371:

“14.1.371. A public association performing the functions of a foreign agent is a public association that in order to carry out its activity receives money or property from foreign states, their state structures, NGOs of other countries, international NGOs, foreign nationals, stateless persons or their authorized representatives who receive money or other property from specified sources, and is also involved in, including in the interest of foreign sources, political activity in Ukraine.”

It seems that the Russian scenario for NGOs is being introduced here:

“A public association that has a legal status and intends to receive money or other property from foreign sources and to participate in political activities in the territory of Ukraine is obliged to submit (send), before it begin such activities, to the competent authority responsible for registration, with which it is registered, an application for inclusion in the Register of Public Associations information on a public association’s activities as a public association performing the functions of a foreign agent. Information on a public association carrying out its activities with the status of a public association performing the functions of a foreign agent shall be included in the Register of Public Associations within five days of receiving the relevant application by the competent authority responsible for registration.”

The definition of “a public association performing the functions of a foreign agent” is to appear in the new law on NGOs if the president signs the bill.

In July 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the federal law “Introducing Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Regarding the Regulation of Activities of Non-commercial Organizations Performing the Functions of Foreign Agents.”

Source: forUM

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