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By Ted Cruz
Banning speech with a constitutional amendment is playing with fire
Topic - Lev Ponomaryov
Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday quickly rubber-stamped a new bill widely expanding the definition of high treason. Critics alleged the legislation is part of a wider crackdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin, who already has pushed through laws targeting street protests, aid organizations and opposition leaders.
"It would allow them to put any civil activist, let alone rights defender, in custody," said Lev Ponomaryov, a veteran Russian rights activist. "It will place a sword over the head of anyone who is maintaining contacts with foreigners."
"The country's rollback to the past is accelerating," he said.