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Russia

Russian Parliament To Ban Public Employees From Owning Foreign Assets

Russian Parliament To Ban Public Employees From Owning Foreign Assets
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MOSCOW - Proposed legislation in the Russian Duma (Lower House of Parliament) would forbid all public employees, including government ministers, the President and the Duma MPs themselves, from owning any real estate, stocks or bank accounts outside of Russia. In its current form, public employees found to have property or accounts abroad would be removed from their posts and would face up to five years in jail, as well as hefty fines. In addition, public employees would not be able to own property abroad for three years after they leave government service.

Vyacheslav Lyisakov, an MP from the ruling United Russia party and one of the bill’s authors, said that government employees should “have two feet in Russia.” But other members of the United Russia party admitted that the law could violate government workers’ civil rights.

Aleksei Makarkin, vice-president of the Center of Political Technology, says that this new law is a way to respond to public outcry about new restrictions on rallies and the activities of NGOs; a way of saying “Look, we don’t just restrict average citizens, we also restrict ourselves.” But he is convinced that the law is too full of loopholes to genuinely prevent ownership of foreign assets among the leading classes.

Kiril Kabanov, head of the National Anti-Corruption Committee, agrees, adding that the real reason for the law project is the upcoming report on the fight against corruption in Russia that will be presented to the international community in September.

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LGBTQ Plus

Where Conversion Therapy Is Banned, And Where Its Practices Are Ever More Extreme

After almost five years of promises, the UK government says it will again introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy — and in a policy shift, the proposed law would include therapies designed for transgender people.

Photo of demonstrators in the UK against conversion therapy

The UK Government has finally announced a draft bill to ban conversion therapy for all – including trans people.

Openly via Twitter
Riley Sparks, Ginevra Falciani, Renate Mattar

Conversion therapy, which includes a range of practices that aim to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity, has long been controversial. Many in the LGBTQ community consider it outright evil.

As the practice has spread, often pushed on young people by homophobic family members, there has been a worldwide push to make conversion therapy illegal, with the UK as the latest country set to ban such practices as electric shocks, aversion therapy and a variety of other traumatic, dangerous techniques to try to change someone's sexual preferences or gender identity.

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The British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, the professional body which governs therapists in the UK, calls the practice “unethical (and) potentially harmful.”

In France, journalists have documentedmany healthcare professionals offering the pseudoscientific practice. In one case, a self-described “LGBT-friendly” therapist offered to “cure” a young lesbian through so-called "rebirth therapy," a dangerous practice that was banned in some U.S. states after unlicensed therapists killed a 10-year-old girl during a session.

For one Canadian man, therapy included prescription medication and weekly ketamine injections to “correct the error” of his homosexuality, all under the guidance of a licensed psychiatrist. Some people are forced into treatment against their will — often minors — but most of the time, those who receive conversion therapy do so willingly.

The UK announcement of plans to ban conversion therapy for England and Wales comes after four separate British prime ministers had promised, for almost five years, to ban the practice.

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