Almost every day, among my friends, on the streets or tubes, or on television, I hear someone take the name of Jesus Christ in vain, turning his name into a swear word. I don't like it. I'd rather they didn't do it. But do I threaten to cut their heads off, or even stage an angry demonstration or organise a petition? Of course not.
By signing so much dissent-strangling legislation, by playing to the most reactionary elements in Russian society, by crushing popular protest and by harassing civil society, Putin is dragging Russia away from its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to respect freedom of opinion and expression.