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Protest bill backed by Russia’s upper house of parliament

June 06, 2012, 14:51 UTC+3

Russian Upper House of parliament approves a bill that would dramatically increase fines for those accused of participating in illegal rallies.

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Russian Federation Council votes in favor of the new bill toughening the punishment for illegal protests. Russian Upper House of parliament approved the bill with 132 votes for and just one against with one abstention.On Tuesday, opposition legislators of Russian State Duma argued into the night proposing around 400 amendments to mark their disapproval. The law was passed at the third reading after more than 11 hours of debate. It has now to be ratified by President Vladimir Putin.The new law raises the maximum fine for illegal street protest to 300,000 rubles (roughly $9,000) for citizens and to $32,000 for the organizers. It also introduces the option of compulsory community service of up to 200 hours.Over 50 demonstrators opposing the bill have been detained on Tuesday in Moscow, protests near the Upper House on Wednesday ended calmly.

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