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Russia’s Duma considering million-ruble fines and prison time for quarantine violations

Source: State Duma

State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Constitutional Law Committee Chair Pavel Krashennikov have introduced a bill into Russia’s parliament that would provide harsher penalties under Article 236 of the country’s Criminal Codex. Article 236 covers “violations of sanitary-epidemiological rules.”

The two deputies’ bill would increase fines for quarantine violations from 80,000 rubles ($1,014) to one million rubles ($12,670) for rule-breaking that causes an illness to spread. Causing new infections could also be punishable by up to three years in prison, a penalty that is not provided for in the current version of the statute.

Negligent actions causing an individual’s death or intentionally causing a public health threat would be punishable by a fine of up to two million rubles ($25,340) or up to five years in prison under the bill. That time could be extended to seven years if negligence causes two or more deaths.

Both Russia’s executive cabinet and its Supreme Court have come out in support of the increased penalties. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin called for harsher quarantine enforcement on March 23. Volodin said his and Krashennikov’s bill may be passed as soon as next week.

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