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New version of bill on prison terms for rehabilitation of Nazism referred to State Duma

June 25, 2013, 2:09 UTC+3
Circulating false information about the activity of armies of the anti-Hitler coalition countries during World War II may lead to 300,000 fine or up to 3 years jail
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MOSCOW, June 24 (Itar-Tass) - The new version of the bill on prison terms of up to five years for rehabilitation of Nazism was referred to the State Duma on Monday. The author of the new version of the bill proposed four years ago by Boris Gryzlov, then the State Duma speaker, and other members of the United Russia party, is lrina Yarovaya, chairperson of the State Duma Committee on Security and Fighting Corruption. She was also among the bill’s authors in 2009.

The new version of the bill calls for sanctions for the denial of the sentence passed by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, as well as for the denial of the activity of the armies of the anti-Hitler coalition countries for the maintenance of international peace and security during World War II and for circulating false information about the activity of armies of the anti-Hitler coalition countries during World War II, and for accusing them of crimes, proffering falsified proofs of the accusations.

The title of the proposed new article of the Criminal Code remains unchanged, “Rehabilitation of Nazism”. The punishment remains the same: the fine of up to 300,000 rubles, or the deprivation of freedom for up to three years, the same actions with the use of one’s official position or of the mass media are punishable by a fine of from 100,000 to 500,000 rubles or the deprivation of freedom for up to five years with the deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or engage in certain activities for up to three years.

According to the previous wording, the bill envisaged punishment for “distortion of the sentence of the Nuremberg Tribunal or sentences of national courts or tribunals based on the sentence of the Nuremberg Tribunal aiming for total or partial rehabilitation of Nazism and Nazi criminals, or proclaiming as criminal the actions of armies of the anti-Hitler coalition, as well as for public approval or denial of crimes of Nazism against peace and security of humanity.”

Itar-Tass has the official reference of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supporting the new initiative.

The opposition in the Duma has taken a positive view of the bill. “If there is a need to make use of the criminal law to prove one’s own historic rightness and geopolitical realities, this must be done,” MP Sergei Obukhov, secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, told Itar-Tass. “We must protect our view,” he said, noting that the CPRF would support the bill.

“We are against rehabilitation of Nazism,” Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy head of the Duma faction of A Just Russia party, told ltar-Tass. “There is presently concern in Russia that the tendencies for rehabilitation of the ideology of Nazi Germany are now seen not only in Eastern Europe but also in Western Europe,” he noted. The MP said with indignation that such facts take place in Russia, too. “Scientific publications appearing in Russia of late question the role of the USSR in the victory over Nazism and put on par what happened in wartime in the USSR and in Nazi Germany,” he notes. “Our soldiers are accused of crimes they did not commit,” he said. “We will certainly back the bill,” Yemelyanov said.

Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian Peace Fund and of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, links the bill with the fact that ever more attempts were made at the revision of the results of World War II and at justification of the crimes against peace and security of humanity and with the lack of the normative base for the prevention of manifestations of rehabilitation of Nazism in the public and state life,” he said.

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