MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) has adopted a bill to introduce administrative fines of up to 150,000 rubles ($2,000) for insulting citizens by public officials in its second and main reading. The bill also equates insults on the Internet to public ones and introduces a hefty fine for defamation for legal entities.
The bill was introduced back in early May. According to the text, an insult made by a state or municipal public official linked to their work responsibilities is punishable by an administrative fine of between 50,000 and 100,000 rubles ($680-$1360) or a removal from office of up to one year. A repeated offence will see the perpetrator fined between 100,000 and 150,000 rubles ($1360-$2000) or a ban of up to two years.
Moreover, fines for insults in general rise as well in Russia. In addition, Internet insults are now equated with public offences, particularly those in the media, while legal entities can now be punished for defamation.