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State Duma introduces term of up to 5 years in prison for calls to dissolition of Russia

December 17, 2013, 20:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The State Duma lower house of Russian parliament has approved the first reading of a bill introducing a term of up to five years in prison for the appeals to disintegration of Russia on Tuesday. Deputies from the Communist faction headed by their leader Gennady Zyuganov initiated the amendments.

If the bill is approved, “public appeals to the actions seeking to violate territorial integrity of Russia” will be fined up to 300,000 rubles or compulsory work of up to 300 hours or a term of up to three years in prison.

The same offences committed with the use of mass media or the Internet will be punished with compulsory works of up to 480 hours or a term of up to five years in prison.

The authors of the bill suggest these legal provisions should take effect on May 9, 2014.

They noted that one of the main typical features of a country is the integrity of its territory. “The principles of integrity and inviolability of state territory are among the fundamental principles of modern international law,” the deputies noted.

“The provisions introduced in the law will help prevent possible separatist tendencies and appeals to actions to hand over some parts of Russian territory to foreign countries and curb the spread of the information that justifies these actions,” the deputies said in conclusion.

First deputy head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma Vyacheslav Timchenko told reporters in comments on the bill that “the level or degree of responsibility is a matter of further debates on the bill.” “But we should fix in the legislation that the appeals to breach Russia’s territorial integrity are criminally punishable,” he noted.

In this regard, the lawmaker proposed “to recall which consequences such appeals had in the late nineties of the previous century.” “We have lost not only a great country, many our citizens also did not survive the hardships of the life,” he noted.

Timchenko also noted that United Russia supports all reasonable bills, which are drafted in favor of the country and its nation regardless who had moved them in.

CPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov has voiced this idea at a plenum of the CPRF Central Committee in October.

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