Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that forces relatives of terrorists to pay for damages caused by their attacks. It also boosts penalties for launching, participating, or financing militant or terrorist groups.
Under the law, all damages – including moral damage – should be compensated “at the expense of the means of the person committing the terrorist act and also at the expense of the means of his [or her] family, relatives and close people.”
The term “close people” refers to those whose lives, health, and well-being are valued by the terrorist, due to the terrorist’s personal relationships with the individuals.
The law also stipulates that there should be “sufficient reasons” to believe that they received money, valuables, and other property as a result of terrorist activities, or that they generate income from such property.
Moreover, a special mechanism is being created to check the lawfulness of the property of terrorists’ relatives, meaning that the FSB will be given the right to demand such information.
If relatives and close acquaintances of suspected militants fail to provide documents proving their rightful acquisition, the law allows for the seizure of such property.
There is now a limitation of action under this law, which means it could be implemented regardless of the remoteness of a crime.
Harsher punishments for terror activities introduced
The maximum penalty for taking part in trainings with an aim of carrying out terrorist activities, as well as participation in terrorist networks, is currently 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 500,000 rubles (US$15,700). Individuals convicted of organizing a terrorist network can receive 20 years in prison and be ordered to pay a fine of up to one million rubles ($30,800).
Penalties have also been increased for launching, leading, or financing militant groups, with a maximum jail term of up to 10 years (previously up to seven years).
Participation in such groups, including those based abroad, is punishable by up to six years in jail. Until Sunday, the crime was punishable by a maximum of three years in prison, and the law only referred to Russia-based networks.
A special federal body is being created to coordinate the actions of the country’s counter-terrorism structures at all levels.
The law was proposed to parliament by Putin’s office on September 27. It was approved by the State Duma – the lower house of parliament – on October 25 and by the Federation Council – the upper house – on October 30.