Nov 9, 2018 – Russia will consider punishing parents if their children take part in protests against Vladimir Putin’s regime, a counter terror chief in the country’s ministry of internal affairs has said.
Timur Valiulin said the Government was “concerned” about young people participating in unsanctioned protests and that it would consider holding rally organizers, parents and teachers “accountable”, according to RBC.
It follows mass protests across the country in March, organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).
“We are concerned about young people participating in uncoordinated street actions. The percentage of young protesters is growing. The ever-lowering average age of the participants is alarming,” Mr Valiulin said.
“We should think if we could introduce amendments or changes in order to hold accountable both the rally organizers and the parents of the participating schoolchildren, as well as the educators, too”
The Social Policy Committee of the Federation Council’s chairman Valery Ryazansky said Parliament had been trying to tackle the problem for some time.
“Just as parents get punished if their child is caught driving a car, they must be held accountable if their children are involved in unauthorized actions,” he said.
But teachers should not be held responsible, according to Galina Merkulova, chairman of the All-Russia Education Union.
“Teachers cannot control things that happen outside school. Those suggesting bringing parents and teachers to justice do not know how to do it themselves,” she said.
Children who take part in “illegal” political protests in Russia could be forcibly removed from their parents.
After scores of teenagers were arrested at anti-Kremlin demonstrations, Sergei Vostretsov, an MP with President Putin’s ruling United Russia party, said that the measures were being looked at as part of legislation that would allow the authorities to jail anyone for up to 15 days for “involving minors” in unsanctioned protests. In Russian law anyone under 18 is deemed to be a minor.
It comes just days after hundreds of protesters took to Moscow’s streets on Mr Putin’s birthday.
The protests were originally planned for Mr Putin’s home town, St Petersburg, but were extended after organizer Mr Navalny was jailed together with his campaign chief in October.