Title: Russia Imposes New Decree Requiring Individuals to Surrender Passports Amid Travel Bans
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December 11th, 2022 – A recent government order in Russia mandates that individuals subjected to a travel ban must surrender their passports to authorities within five days of receiving notification. Aimed at preventing unauthorized overseas travel, this decree affects various groups, including conscripts, employees of the Federal Security Service (FSB), convicts, and individuals with access to state secrets or “information of special importance.”
According to officials, the passports will be securely stored by the institutions that initially issued them, such as the interior ministry or the foreign ministry. However, these individuals may apply for the return of their passports once the travel ban is lifted, granting them the ability to travel freely again.
This new policy also extends to those whose right to travel has been temporarily limited due to conscription or alternative civilian service. In addition to surrendering their passports, these individuals must also provide a military ID and proof of completing their service obligations.
The Financial Times had previously reported that Russian security services were confiscating passports from senior officials and executives of state-owned companies to prevent unauthorized overseas travel. This latest decree signifies a further tightening of travel restrictions within the country.
The new regulation will officially come into effect on Monday, December 11th, causing a significant impact on the affected individuals’ mobility. While the intent behind this measure is to safeguard national security and control the movement of those who possess sensitive information, it has raised concerns among human rights activists who argue that it infringes upon personal freedoms.
Critics argue that such restrictive policies disproportionately affect ordinary citizens, as well as senior officials and professionals working for state enterprises. Some also claim that this decree could be exploited to curb dissent by limiting the travel rights of political activists and opposition figures.
As Russia’s authorities continue to adopt stringent measures to safeguard national security, it remains to be seen how these recent travel restrictions will be received by the general public and the international community alike. Only time will tell whether this move will effectively combat potential threats or become a contentious issue of civil liberties.
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