From the IHT, with thanks to Anthony:
MOSCOW Russia’s Parliament gave initial support Friday to a new anti-terrorism bill seen by some deputies as undermining people’s rights, but the government immediately reacted by saying it should be toned down.
The bill, initiated by parliamentary allies of President Vladimir Putin, was proposed in the wake of the Beslan school siege in September in which more than 330 hostages were killed – half of them children – after a Chechen rebel attack.
The bill would give Russian authorities the right to impose a 60-day security clampdown in any part of the country solely on suspicion that a terror attack was being planned. The draft would allow the imposition of “a state of terrorist danger” if authorities receive information – even unconfirmed – that suggests an attack is being planned.
During that period, even if no attack takes place, the authorities could introduce emergency measures, including banning public demonstrations, tapping telephones, conducting spot street checks and restricting movements of people and traffic.
The bill easily passed a first reading in the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament.
But in documents distributed to Duma deputies, the government said some restrictions contradicted the Constitution, and it called on the Duma to amend the bill before a second reading.