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Russia may bring age threshold of responsibility for terrorism down to 14 years

April 07, 19:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The corresponding bill has been submitteed by lawmakers Irina Yarovaya and Viktor Ozerov
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© Sergei Shleyuk/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 7. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma may bring down the minimum age threshold for bearing responsibility for the acts of purported terrorism to fourteen years, as follows from a bill the chairperson of the Duma committee for security, Irina Yarovaya, and the chairman of the committee for defense in the upper house of parliament, Viktor Ozerov, submitted for scrutiny on Thursday.

"Considering the specificity of different types of crimes, the incumbent legislation stipulates criminal responsibility for coming these crimes by the individuals who have reached the age of fourteen," says a letter of comments appended to the bill, adding that the list of the crimes embraces murder, abductions of people, larceny, and hostage-taking.

"The new bill fills in a definite legislative gap and specifies the same minimum age threshold for the crimes related to terrorism, which are committed purposefully and pose particular danger to society and which the malefactors are aware of," the letter says.

The bill proposes to consider the committing of crimes in the conditions of armed conflicts or combat operations as an aggravating circumstance.

The package of antiterrorist bills envisions sanctions for the accomplices of terrorists that will be commensurate with punishment for terrorism. Also, it introduces equal responsibility for assistance to terrorists and independent responsibility for assistance to hostage-taking and to the setting up of a paramilitary unit.

"Since assistance to terrorist activities represents an active form of facilitation of the particularly heinous crimes, the bill proposes equal sanctions for it and stipulates independent responsibility for assistance to hostage-taking and to the setting up of a paramilitary unit," the letter of comments said.

Public calls for or justifications of terrorism in the Internet may entail fines of up to a million rubles or jail terms of five to seven years if the package is passed into laws.

At present, Russian legislation spells out fines for the calls made through the mass media.

"The wrongdoings (appeals for terrorisms and attempts to justify it - TASS) committed with the aid of mass media or the Internet will bring on fines ranging from 300,000 rubles to a million rubles or imprisonments of five to seven years and prohibitions for occupying certain official positions or engaging in certain professional trades," the letter says.

Last but not least, the initiators of the bills recommend establishing criminal liability for assistance to extremism and for acts of international terrorism.

"Russia’s Criminal Code should be appended with new specifications of crimes that will envision responsibility for failures to report on the crimes related to terrorism, for assistance to extremist activities, and for committing the acts of international terrorism," the letter said.

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