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MP suggests criminal punishment for brawls provoked by people of different ethnicities

December 05, 2013, 20:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Vladimir Taskayev, an LDPR deputy at the Russian State Duma, on Thursday submitted amendments to the Russian Penal Code for consideration of the parliament’s lower house. They add a new qualifying characteristic, “if a crime has been committed against a representative of a different ethnic group,” to some of the Code’s articles.

The bill is designed to thwart mass public inter-ethnic riots that derive from everyday conflicts of representatives of various ethnic groups.

The deputy clarifies that the articles in question should introduce punishment for brawls among representatives of various ethnic groups if they can incur consequences from light bodily harm to murder.

Taskayev motivated the need to amend the aforesaid articles of the Russian Penal Code by the growing number of inter-ethnic conflicts that have occurred in Russia in recent years.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian citizens should not demand special rights for themselves for the reason of their ethnic background or religious affiliation.

“Ethnic Russians are a state-forming nation. But Russia has always been multinational and multi-confessional and that’s what made it strong. If we want to preserve it, then we should pay close attention to these problems. The only right approach is to consider all citizens of Russia to be equal irrespective of their ethnicity or religious affiliation,” Putin told a conference of the Russian Popular Front (ONF).

Putin explained that such an approach meant that everybody should abide by Russian laws, everybody should be treated equally and everybody should be equally responsible for observation of Russian laws irrespective of nationality, ethnicity or religion.

“No one should shelter themselves by claiming to be exceptional and demand any special rights for themselves,” the Russian president said.

He called on Russian Popular Front activists to pay attention to cases of corruption and ethnic crimes and inform the authorities of these facts.

“That will help us to react to these problems faster and sharper,” Putin stressed.

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