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KOMMERSANT (Russia), REUTERS

MOSCOW - The crackdowns against Kremlin opponents continue. Just this past weekend, police detained four opposition leaders and tried to ban a rally demanding an end to Vladimir Putin's rule, Reuters reports.

Still, last week, a decision that got much less attention could take Russia one important step toward a more open, democratic society. The nation's Supreme Court ruled that courts have to follow a series of laws regarding transparency. Although the specific text of the ruling is not yet available, the Supreme court will mandate who must be allowed in the courtroom, where trials should take place, under what circumstances there can be a closed trial and how transcripts of trials will be released on the Internet, Kommersant reports.

Verdicts in cases found to violate the transparency rules will be voided.



According to Kommersant, this was already codified in law, but routinely ignored by courts around the country. The ruling both aims to allow all citizens to have a transparent trial, as well as to allow journalists as much access as possible to legal proceedings.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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