“Worst thing is that if the police suddenly decide that someone wants to take away their weapons, they will be given the right to shoot to kill people,” said Rashkin. “The police will not be subject to punishment for the actions of this kind. Therefore, they will not have to be held responsible for murdering.”
In mid-May 2020, the Russian government submitted another bill to the State Duma lower house of Russian parliament. It has every chance to cause a huge public uproar and to become as scandalous as the notorious pension reform in 2018. As it turned out, the bill presupposes a significant expansion of the powers of police officers. According to Valery Rashkin, a member the State Duma faction of Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), this document poses risk to ordinary Russians. Moreover, Rashkin believes that there is no real need for its adoption.
“In my opinion there is no need for the changes of this kind,” Rashkin says. “Today, everything is quite thoroughly explained in the current law and in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. All the rights and obligations of police officers are outlined in detail, along with measures to protect them. Moreover, even under current standards, the protection of police officers prevails over the protection of residents. It is our people who remain the least protected in Russia. They are endlessly beaten up at rallies. They can be humiliated and detained on the streets without any grounds for it. Moreover, any attempts to make claims to the police will get you nowhere.”
“This Law is Very Dangerous for Russians”
As an example, he uses an incident that happened this year on Victory Day (9 May,) a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. Several deputies tried to get to the city center in order to lay flowers to the Eternal Flame and Grave of the Unknown Soldier memorials by the Kremlin wall near the entrance to Red Square. “Someone gave a completely illegal order, and the police officers immediately executed it,” said Rashkin. “The deputies were physically attacked despite their immunity and illegally detained. For instance, physical force was applied to the State Duma member Denis Parfyonov. What can we say about other Russians who are completely deprived of all their rights when they contact the police?”
In addition, Valery Rashkin notes that it was the federal officials who developed and submitted this bill to the State Duma despite the fact that there is no objective reason for it.
“Where are the real examples of mass offending of police officers in our country?” asks Rashkin. “This is nonsense. If you carefully study this document, it becomes clear that this is a very dangerous and absolutely unnecessary law for the Russians. It provides for the right of police officers to break into people’s houses without any permitting documents from the prosecutor's office or without any court decisions. They can even break into a car at any time. Moreover, if an owner of the damaged property turns out to be a perfectly honest and law-abiding person, he or she will not receive compensation for the damage caused by the state.”
To Affect Everyone
However, according to Rashkin, adoption of the law as such is not the most dangerous thing. “The worst thing is that if the police suddenly decide someone wants to take away their weapons, they will be given the right to shoot and kill people,” said Rashkin. “The police will not be subject to punishment for the actions of this kind. Therefore, they will not have to be held responsible for murdering.”
Valery Rashkin believes that this document is a kind of a rip-off of the current law in the United States where the police are allowed to shoot to kill.
“Apparently, they put that on notice,” said Rashkin. “They are trying to introduce the same rules into our legislation. This should be stopped by all means. This will affect everyone. Therefore, as soon as this document is submitted to the Parliament, I will personally call on people to come to the building of the State Duma and thwart the adoption of this law.”