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Instructions following a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights

January 28, 2021

Vladimir Putin approved a list of instructions following the December 10, 2020 meeting of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights.

The Presidential Executive Office, together with the Government of the Russian Federation, has been instructed to submit proposals on introducing additional requirements for foreign technological companies operating in the Russian segment of the internet information and telecommunications network, including when it comes to opening their representative offices in Russia.

Presidential plenipotentiary envoys to the federal districts, working together with the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, are to take measures to ensure respect for the rights of journalists, stipulated in the legislation on mass media, in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

Instructions for the Government concern analysis of international practices regarding keeping bone marrow donor registers with a view to amending the Russian legislation, if necessary; improvement of the system of certification for sanitisers, the supervision of their use and the organisation of sanitising efforts; securing the social and labour rights and the right to vote of personnel at rotation villages.

The Government, together with the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, is to draft a concept for ensuring the protection of human and civil rights and freedoms in the digital space of the Russian Federation and an action plan (road map) for its implementation, which should include measures aimed at enhancing digital literacy of citizens and teaching them the skills of information security and digital hygiene.

Instructions for the Justice Ministry, together with the Public Chamber and the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor), have to do with a procedure for visits to penitentiaries by members of public oversight commissions in view of the threat of proliferation of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

The Education Ministry, together with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, is to analyse the proposals submitted during the December 10, 2020 Council meeting aimed at improving the system of distance learning, including the idea of creating “parent universities.”

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has been recommended to prepare explanations based on an evaluation of legal practice regarding cases of infringement of the laws on the freedom of conscience, religion and religious associations, and, working together with the Prosecutor General’s Office, to analyse the application of Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Public Appeals for the Performance of Extremist Activity) and to consider the possibility of introducing administrative prejudgement under this article.

In addition, the Supreme Court and the Justice Ministry are to analyse the expediency of establishing a Russian court for human rights and, should they consider this to be expedient, to submit their proposals regarding this.

The Prosecutor General’s Office is to examine the information provided during the Council meeting on illegal pressure placed on those involved in criminal cases.

One more instruction for the Prosecutor General’s Office, together with the Culture Ministry and the State Council commission on Culture, concerns responsibility for destroying or damaging the cultural heritage (historical and cultural landmarks) of the peoples of Russia in the course of construction in landmark protection areas.

January 28, 2021