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MOSCOW, May 22 (Itar-Tass) — The bill that raises fines to 1.5 million roubles for abusing the rally law will be amended by the second reading so the fines for citizens amount to 30,000 to 3000,000 roubles, one of the authors of the initiative Alexander Sidyakin /United Russia/ stated at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday.
Presenting the 1st reading of the bill at the Tuesday session of the parliament, he promised to introduce "a range of amendments aimed at differentiating the responsibility in this area" immediately after the house approved the 1st reading of the document.
Under the amendments, citizens might be fined 30,000 to 100,000 roubles for violations at rallies, but the fines might be raised to 150,000 to 250,000 roubles for damaging property and 250,000 to 300,000 roubles for causing harm to health.
Sidyakin underlined that the main purpose of the bill was decriminalization of administrative legislation. "We suggested introducing a new kind of penalty - community work as an alternative to house arrest. We're replacing arrest with a more human educative measure," Sidyakin said, "why should a person who's violated the rally law - who dreams of being detained by police in front of television cameras, become a prison of conscience in the eyes of international organizations? It's much more adequate to give him a broom; let him clean up after what he's done."
In his opinion, "the initiative launches the liberalization of administrative punishment."
"We’ll go the way of introducing mandatory work as an alternative to administrative arrest," he said, referring to the experience of western countries which he believes shows that Russia's level in this area is one of the lowest.
"Western countries which have a considerable experience in settling protests, decided on tougher sanctions. For example, German legislation envisions fines to the tune or 500,000 roubles, and Swiss legislation up to 4.5 million roubles. It's not the largest fines yet," the lawmaker underlined.
"We should not turn the right to assembly into chaos, the right to provocation. We understand that an ordinary citizen will not be fined 300 roubles or even less. We should realize that those masked scoundrels who provoke citizens and attack police should bear full responsibility. The main purpose is citizens' right to safe right to protest," he said.
An explanatory note to the bill called for introducing a new kind of administrative penalty: community works for 20 to 200 hours for up to 4 hours day. The fines for citizens are to be raised from 5,000 roubles to 1 million roubles and for officials from 50,000 roubles to 1,500 roubles. The house will vote on the bill after 17:00, Moscow time, on Tuesday.