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MOSCOW, July 10 (Itar-Tass) - The State Duma deputies have drafted a bill, which toughen the punishment for the violence against journalists. A Just Russia deputy Mikhail Serduyk and deputy from the United Russia faction Valery Trapeznikov move in the initiative.
“As punishment those guilty for the use or a threat of violence not dangerous for the life and health face a fine of up to 200,000 roubles, correctional works of up to five years or the deprivation of freedom of up to five years. The violence, which is dangerous for the life and health of a journalist, will be punished with the deprivation of freedom of up to ten years,” the Izvestia daily reported on Wednesday.
Now those accused of the violence or a threat of violence against journalists face correctional works of up to five years or the deprivation of freedom of up to six years. Meanwhile, the punishment is envisaged only for the crimes, which were committed during the official activity.
“It was proposed to introduce in the Criminal Code the amendments, which concern not only service, but also professional activity of journalists,” author of the legislative initiative Mikhail Serdyuk stated.
“A journalist can be not at the workplace, sit in the editorial office, not perform a service task at the moment of attack, but he can stay at the forefront of journalistic activity almost all the time. Therefore, a crime, which was committed against him, was frequently caused by his professional activity. For instance, the case of journalist Oleg Kashin,” Serdyuk explained.
Member of the Presidential Council of Human Rights, journalist Ivan Zasursky said that the problem of protection of journalists was raised at the recent meeting of the members of the council with Vladimir Putin and he took it with understanding.
“The journalists represent their readers and are actually officials. For the president and the lawmakers this logic is clear. The proposal of the deputies is good, the most important thing is that the law will be effective. We do not know who wounds and kills journalists. It is unclear who attacked editor-in-chief of the Khimkinskaya Pravda newspaper Mikhail Beketov and Oleg Kashin,” Zasursky said. “A tougher punishment is an attempt to make a step towards the journalists, but if no one is caught what chances to prosecute the criminals are?” he underlined.