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Article updated: 11/14/2012 9:17 AM

Russia expands treason law, critics fear crackdown

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A new law expanding Russia's definition of treason took effect Wednesday -- and critics say it's so vague that the government can now brand anyone who dissents as a traitor. Human rights advocates say the law is part of a widening crackdown on the opposition after President Vladimir Putin began his third presidential term.

Associated Press

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A new law expanding Russia's definition of treason took effect Wednesday -- and critics say it's so vague that the government can now brand anyone who dissents as a traitor. Under the new law, anyone possessing information deemed secret -- whether a politician, a journalist, an environmentalist or a union leader -- could potentially be jailed for up to 20 years for espionage.
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