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Russia toughens law for inciting children to suicide

July 19, 18:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The bill doubles the maximum penalty for inciting children to take their own lives from 8 to 15 years in jail

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Russia’s State Duma

Russia’s State Duma

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Russia’s lower house of parliament, State Duma, approved on Wednesday the bill doubling the maximum penalty for inciting children to take their own lives, from 8 to 15 years in jail.

The bill was submitted by the MPs of the United Russia Vladimir Vasilyev, Vasily Piskarev and Ernest Valeyev.

"The bill was drafted with the aim to secure citizens’ lives and health, in particular those underage, and to establish measures that will prevent their involvement in illegal activities posing risks for their lives, by issuing a warning against the practice of inciting to suicide," supplementary documents say.

Major amendments were made to Article 110 of Russia’s Criminal Code (incitement to suicide). The article says, "Incitement of a person to commit or attempt to commit suicide which has involved a suicide or suicide attempt" will be punishable by imprisonment of five to ten years (currently maximum five years). Moreover, perpetrators will face six to twelve years in jail (now up to six years) actions inciting to suicide "against a minor, another defenseless or helpless person, or a person who is dependent on the guilty person, against a woman who is obviously in a state of pregnancy." Given more than two children have died, the penalty will be from eight to 15 years in prison.

Simultaneously, organization of so-called "death groups," which are groups created to urge teenagers to take their lives, will be punishable by imprisonment of five to ten years (now up to four years). Given calls to commit a suicide are circulated in the mass media or on the Internet, the punishment will be from five to 15 years behind bars (now up to six years).

In June 2017, Russia adopted a law on additional mechanisms against encouragements to minors’ suicidal behavior, where criminal liability for incitement to suicide, including underage citizens, was increased to a five-to eight-year jail sentence. The lawmakers say that the penalty is too mild and suggest it should be increased to 15-year imprisonment.

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