Duma deputies want the author of Russia's latest draconian Internet legislation to present it in person. He refuses.
The State Duma Council says Senator Andrey Klishas, who heads the Federation Council’s Legislation Committee, should personally present the first readings of legislation he helped draft that would prohibit online insults against state officials and the publication of “fake news.” (Under the former law, offenders would face up to 15 days in jail. Media outlets and individuals who violate the latter law, meanwhile, would be subject to fines.)
The lower house of parliament’s governing body also demands that a representative from Russia’s Communications Ministry attend the initial discussion of these controversial bills. (The government still hasn’t finished reviewing these draft laws, however, and Duma officials say the legislation will be pulled from the plenary session’s agenda on January 24 without feedback from the prime minister’s cabinet.)
One of Klishas’s aides told Dozhd that the senator will be in the Krasnoyarsk region this week and he has no plans to return to Moscow for the plenary session. Sources told the television network that Klishas flatly doesn’t want to participate in the Duma’s discussion of his legislation. Duma First Deputy Speaker Ivan Melnikov later clarified that the senator’s attendance is optional.
Dozhd previously reported that State Duma deputies planned to put Klishas’s bills on hold after the senator told Novaya Gazeta that using the term “Gosdura” (State Idiot) wouldn’t necessarily qualify as illegal under his law.