The deputies of the United Russia faction submitted a bill in the State Duma in order to toughen administrative punishment for violations, which the organizers and participants in the rallies commit. If the amendments are approved, only wealthy people will be able to participate in unauthorized actions. The punitive measures will be taken not only against the opposition, but also ordinary citizens.
Under the bill, for violations of the procedure of a rally a participant can be fined from 1,000 to 10,000 roubles, the organizer can be fined from 10,000 to 100,000 roubles. Meanwhile, compulsory correctional works from 20 to 200 hours with not more than four hours a day are offered as the punishment for administrative offences. The sanctions are also toughened for any obstacles to the actions or making someone participate in the rallies. The fines for these offences will be 100,000 roubles for an individual and up to 200,000 roubles for an official.
If the bill is approved, the Russian Code of Administrative Offence will sound quite strange. A person can be fined a maximum of 2,500 roubles for bribery of voters, a maximum of 1,000 roubles for the propaganda and public demonstration of the Nazi symbols, 500 roubles for violations of the anti-terrorist operation regime. A person can be fined 10,000 roubles for carrying the posters somewhere on the Revolution Square or at the Interior Ministry building and an organizer can be fined up to 100,000 roubles.
The deputies also pledged to introduce a new alternative type of administrative punishment that will make up to 200 hours of compulsory public works for the organizers and participants in unauthorized street actions, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. But for any obstacles to street actions and making people participate in them the United Russia deputies do not offer any correctional works. It is common knowledge that only those officials vested with powers at various levels can make people do something in the legal way.
The lawyers and human rights activists believe the measures to make administrative punishment tougher for the organizers and participants in the rallies will be applied not only for the repressions against the opposition, but also for the punishment of ordinary people, who come out against abuses in the regions, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. “It will be enough to stick the white ribbon or the rhombus with the figure 31 to the jacket and stand at the local administration building, so you will become a hooligan and an offender for the law enforcement agencies,” jurist Dmitry Kachanov believes.