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State Duma imposes prison terms of up to 5 years for calls to split Russia

December 21, 2013, 1:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Public calls for actions to violate Russia’s territorial integrity will be punishable by a fine, compulsory public works, or by the deprivation of freedom
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudraz

MOSCOW, December 20, 23:53 /ITAR-TASS/. The State Duma on Friday passed amendments to the Criminal Code, calling for the deprivation of freedom for up to five years for calls to split Russia. Deputies from the faction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, headed by its leader Gennady Zyuganov, proposed the amendments.

When the document goes into effect “public calls for actions to violate Russia’s territorial integrity” will be punishable by a fine of up to 300,000 roubles, or by compulsory public works for up to 300 hours, or by the deprivation of freedom for up to three years.

The same actions with the use of the mass media, including information-telecommunication networks (among them the internet) will carry the punishment of compulsory public works for up to 480 hours, or the deprivation of freedom for up to five years.

These norms will come into force as of May 9, 2014.

The Communists stress in the memo that territorial integrity is one of the basic features of a state. “The principles of integrity and inviolability of a state’s territory are among the fundamental principles of contemporary international law,” the deputies note.

“The norms being introduced will help prevent possible separatist tendencies and calls for actions to cede part of the Russian territory to foreign states and check the spread of information justifying such actions, “ deputies note.

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