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MOSCOW, July 22 (Itar-Tass) - The draft law introducing harsher penalties for attacks on journalists may be adopted before the end of the year, one of its authors, MP Valery Trapeznikov said on Monday, July 22.
“I think it will be adopted,” he said. “We will try to convince all State Duma deputies that journalists need this law.”
According to Trapeznikov, the law will apply to all persons mentioned in the mass media law. He stressed its importance because the Criminal Code does not envisage additional penalties for attacks on journalists.
According to the draft law, submitted to the Duma at the end of its just-concluded spring session by Trapeznikov along with Mikhail Serdyuk of Just Russia, perpetrators will face a fine of up to 200,000 roubles or five years in prison for using or threatening to use violence against journalists if such act of violence does not put a journalist’ health at risk.
Violence that endangers a journalist’s life or health will be punished by a prison term of up to ten years.
“We asked different expert and professional groups to review the draft law by autumn so that we could amend it in September,” Trapeznikov said earlier.
“Mass media members often come under pressure and are afraid of publishing corruption reports,” the MP said, adding that “this problem is most acute in regions.”
He stressed that the draft law was submitted jointly with MP Mikhail Serdyukov of Just Russia and “this joint initiative is an example of how the public good rises above public ambitions.”