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In the State Duma deputies Ernest Valeev and Basil by Piscarium (United Russia) submitted a Draft Federal law N 147239-7 “On amendments to the Federal law “On police” and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation” (in Russian, introduced in the state Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the text as 11.04.2017).
In FZ “About police” it is proposed to prescribe that “a police Officer… is acting as the representative of the government and is under the protection of the law and the state”, “the state guarantees the presumption of trust and support the police officer in the performance of his official duties” (parts 1 and 1.1 of article 30 of the law of the future).
Under this beautiful but unconstitutional phrase hides the following:
1. The state requires its citizens to absolute obedience by anyone (even illegal) demands of police officers.
State Secretary, Deputy interior Minister Igor Zubov said at the session of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security: “We put the question on introduction of Institute of “presumption of trust” to the police. When his actions are considered a priori legitimate and only then should the court or other procedure to prove that he had done wrong and had exceeded his authority. And if he imposes legal requirements – any citizen is obliged to fulfill them. Required! It should be in blood of every human being.”
Thus, it is understood that any action the police should always be considered as a priori legitimate, that opens the window for police brutality because officers will have the legal right to demand, and to do anything. The citizen will be required to “trust” even at the patently illegal actions of police officers or that legally is the same, to render unconditional obedience. It comes in clear contradiction with the constitutional norm, providing for the inadmissibility of arbitrary limitations on rights and freedoms of the citizen.
It becomes obvious that if a citizen questioned the legality of the actions of a police officer and do not show the proper obedience even in the case of explicit release of the police outside its authority, the citizen may face the real threat of bringing to administrative responsibility under article 19.3 of the administrative code (“disobedience to a lawful order of a police officer…”).
2. In court the word of a police officer will have more weight than the words of ordinary citizens. If the victim at the hands of police citizen still decides to protect their violated rights in court, according to the presumption, the burden of proving innocence and the wrongfulness of the actions of the police rests on the shoulders of the citizen. And this is a clear violation of laid down in the Constitution of the principle of presumption of innocence.
“Presumption of trust” simply reverses valid in a legal state model of justice: it violates the principle that it is at the state bodies and their officials the responsibility for proving the legality of their actions in the event of the judicial dispute. In fact, this presumption may make it virtually impossible for a court to prove illegality of actions of police officers.
“Practising lawyers are aware of numerous instances where police officers in criminal or administrative proceedings gave false testimony in order to improve statistical indicators in official activities and in order to avoid criminal liability for abuse, and such testimony was regarded by the courts as reliable and acceptable,” writes the attorney Advisor of the Federal chamber Nver Gasparyan. Add that hardly anyone knows about the existing of the close functional relationship of the court and the investigation/inquiry, and actually recorded indictment (inquisitorial) bias in Russian judicial proceedings.
In addition, the amendments will allow the police: a) to open fire in public places, b) the police will be easier to examine citizens, their belongings and vehicles, this can be done even on the basis of assumptions that a citizen in possession of or in the car have weapons or illegal substances (previously, inspection had to be evidence that the citizen has something forbidden – now “data” will not be needed).
“Public servants” in 2011, 2015, G. G., had tried to make a similar legislative regulation about the “presumption of legality” of the actions of the police and of “presumption of trust” between citizens and the state to them, however, under the new and more “liberal” name lurks all the same anti-constitutional project. The following are the opinions of members of the legal community, expressed by them in 2011 and 2015:
1. Former judge of the constitutional Court Tamara Morshchakova believes that in this way the state prioritizes “What it considers dangerous – manifestation of free citizens or police violence. No need to be a lawyer to understand what the empowerment of the police provokes the extension of the use of violence against people, yet the government gave no grounds for them to apply violence on the court… These amendments do not improve neither crime nor crime among the police. Here among the police crime such actions just triggered”. – BBC
2. A famous lawyer, the Deputy of the state Duma of the fifth convocation Andrey Makarov named the development of the Kremlin “the rejection of all democratic gains,” and “consolidating the full power of the interior Ministry”. “If you will be beaten with batons (not on the head – the head of the law forbids), the justification will be found always”, — the Deputy explained the meaning prescribed in the bill of the presumption of legality of police actions. The adoption of the law Makarov was called “the betrayal of the interests of voters” and “create a new concentration camp, the name of which is Russia; to control the concentration camp is the criminal gang called the police.” – “Krasnoyarsk Time”
Philip Chimakadze, attorney
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