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The Boston Globe

World

Russian lawmakers widen definition of treason

Bill seen as club against dissent

MOSCOW — The lower house of Russia’s Parliament quickly rubber stamped a bill Tuesday widely expanding the definition of high treason. Critics alleged the legislation is part of a wider crackdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin, who has already pushed through laws targeting street protests, aid organizations, and opposition leaders.

Current law describes high treason as espionage or other assistance to a foreign state damaging Russia’s external security. The new bill expands it to include moves against Russia’s ‘‘constitutional order, sovereignty, and territorial and state integrity.’’

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