Russia boosts secret service powers

Dmitry Medvedev signs law that critics say could stifle civil rights.

    Dmitry Medvedev has defended the new law, which boosts the powers of the FSB [Reuters]

    Medvedev has defended the law, saying earlier this month that its aim was to improve Russian legislation and had been drawn up on his personal orders.

    "Every country has a right to fine-tune its legislation, including in respect to special services," he said.

    The Kremlin has also said the law will help combat extremism and prevent illegal participation in anti-government activities such as protest rallies.

    Under the 2000-2008 presidency of former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, the FSB dramatically increased its influence over Russian society.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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