8 April, 13:27

Ukrainian parliament extends prison terms for separatism up to 15 years

Ukrainian parliament extends prison terms for separatism up to 15 years

The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday passed a bill tightening criminal punishment for separatism, including violent actions aimed at changing the constitutional regime and seizure of power.

The bill, which was approved by 231 votes, five more than it needed to get passed, extends prison terms for those involved in the above crimes up to 15 years plus property confiscation.

Deliberate actions aimed at altering the national or administrative borders of Ukraine will bring sentences of up to 12 years plus property confiscation. Treason charges will bring sentences of between 14 and 15 years and up to life imprisonment plus property confiscation.

Longer sentences of 14-15 years have been imposed for subversive and spying activities

The bill followed mass unrest in southeast Ukraine where thousands of people are rallying in support of the federalization of the country.

To become law, the bill has to be signed by Acting president Alexander Turchynov.

Kiev opts for tough actions in response to peaceful demonstrations in Eastern Ukraine

Kiev’s nationalist authorities are threatening to resort to repressions in an answer to the peaceful protest moods. Planning a "cleanup operation" in eastern Ukraine, Maidan president Alexander Turchynov even cancelled his visit to the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments in Lithuania. The Kiev authorities have already arrested hundreds of peaceful demonstrators in eastern Ukraine and are determined to give a "tough answer to regional separatism", as Turchynov said. Meanwhile, the demonstrators are demanding referendums on federalism and the recognition of Russian as a regional language, not secession.

In other words, they want Ukraine’s state structure to resemble that of the US or Germany.

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