04:06 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Russian Parliament Refuses to Withdraw Anti-Terror Laws Package

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    The upper house of the Russian parliament on Wednesday rejected a proposal to withdraw a package of anti-terror bills by a wide margin of 108 against versus 16 lawmakers in favor.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The proposal to withdraw the package of bills was proposed by a lawmaker following an appeal by Russian mobile operators, as the text in its current version would oblige them to store call records and messages for seven years, incurring huge costs.

    The draft amendments, which passed the lower chamber of the Russian parliament on Friday, create additional mechanisms to counter terrorism threats. It was drafted by Irina Yarovaya, head of the lower house's Security and Anti-Corruption Committee, and Viktor Ozerov, head of the upper house's Arms Committee.

    In accordance with the proposed legislation, convicted terrorists can be sentenced to life in prison. Involvement in terror attacks or their financing can be punished by up to 15 years in prison.

    The bill restricts the movement of those suspected in being engaged in terrorism or extremism and lowers the age threshold for terrorism-related crimes to 14 years.

    When introducing the draft package of amendments to the house, Yarovaya said that the aim of the bill was to ensure Russian citizens were better protected and not to restrict their rights and freedoms.

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