23 January 2013, 17:15
People's freedom can be restricted for security, moral reasons - Russian
Moscow, January 23, Interfax - A representative of the Russian Orthodox
Church believes people's freedom can be restricted for security and
"Freedom is not absolute. Freedom can and should be restricted for
security and moral reasons," Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of
the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, said at the
meeting of the Presidential Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
He said "international law documents and the entire historical heritage
of mankind state" that freedom can be restricted.
The Presidential Human Rights Council discussed the amendments to the
bill toughening punishment for insulting believers' feelings.
The bill was criticized by independent human rights activists, the
council's chairman Mikhail Fedotov, and human rights ombudsman Vladimir
The law was supported by Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, Yaroslav Nilov (the head of the State Duma committee on
public associations and religious organizations), Alexander Boroda
(president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia), and
Shafig Pshikhachev (executive director of the International Islamic
Mission and a representative of the Directorate of Muslims of the Caucasus).
"The bill we are talking about is a step in the right direction," Father
"We have no desire to crack down on anyone. A person who encroaches on
holy things should feel that they will be held responsible," Pshikhachev