Russian police given right to open private letters

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) – As from Tuesday, Russian law enforcement agencies have the right to inspect all private letters, parcels and other personal postal deliveries.

The new regulations also give police the right to demand information on the senders and recipients of postal deliveries.

Russian human rights activists said the move was a violation of constitutional and consumer rights.

“I believe this is totally unacceptable,” said Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the For Human Rights movement. He added that he doubted that “terrorists would plan an attack in their personal correspondence.”

Lyudmila Alekseyeva, the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, called the regulation “disgusting and anti-constitutional.”

She added that the new regulation would only benefit dishonest officials, who would obtain information and make money on it.

The communications ministry denied that the move was unconstitutional.

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