Duma Passes Bill to Revoke Russian Citizenship of Convicted Terrorists

Russian Duma
Russian Duma

The Russian lower house has approved a bill allowing naturalized Russians to be stripped of their citizenship if convicted of terrorism-related crimes.

Last April, the legislation was put forward after a Kyrgyz-born naturalized Russian citizens bombed the St-Petersburg metro, killing 14 people and wounded dozens. The leaders of all four State Duma factions joined their efforts to make the legislation pass.

Although the Russian Constitution forbids stripping citizenship of those who were born in Russia, the rules regarding naturalized citizens are different. According to Russian lawmakers, removing the previously granted citizenship of the naturalized citizens is possible.

The new bill will help protect citizens against future attacks by enabling the authorities to strip the citizenship of individuals who have joined a terrorist group.

After the first reading, the bill was amended with an article introducing an oath of allegiance to receive the Russian citizenship.

It is now up to the upper house of the parliament to approve the bill and get the president’s signature to come into force.

Kyrgyzstan’s security service identified the suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in the Kyrgyzstani city of Osh in 1995.
Kyrgyzstan’s security service identified the St-Petersburg bombing suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in the Kyrgyzstani city of Osh in 1995.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the issue in a televised interview last April stating that those who acquired Russian citizenship at birth won’t lose it due to the Russian constitution.

“In line with the Russian constitution, we cannot strip any one of their citizenship. However, we may cancel relevant decisions that served as grounds for obtaining Russian citizenship. We will consult with our lawyers and I think that such decisions will be made in the near future.”

Viktor Ozerov, the head of the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, stated that the chamber is ready to approve the legislation and put the bill into action.

Adding to that, the chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotov, also supported the bill but also specified that it will not affect those who acquired citizenship at birth.


About Jonathan Wade, CD 60 Articles
Jonathan is decorated former light infantryman who served more than 14 years in the Canadian Forces. Deployed to Afghanistan as part of an embedded mentoring team with the Afghan National Army, Jonathan acquired exceptional leadership skills, culture appreciation as well as a detailed comprehension of the situation on the ground. After his career as a soldier, Jonathan founded The Sentinel Analytical Group (2014-2017), and later renamed the blog to Conflict Observer. His goal is to offer an alternative to mainstream media news with detailed analysis as well as offering vital technical informations for a better comprehension of the situation. Jonathan is also the media analyst for the “Centre sur la sécurité internationale” at the Laval University, a military and strategic analyst for “La Commission Gendron” as well as a project coordinator with the NATO Association of Canada. He is now studying at the Laval University in Russian studies, Political Science, and Arab studies. Jonathan speaks French, English and Russian (elementary). He is also working on Modern Standard Arabic. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter : @JonathanWadeCD. E-mail : jonathan.wade@conflictobserver.com