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Bill on ‘propaganda and justification of extremist ideology’ introduced in Russian State Duma

Source: Meduza

A bill on criminal liability for “propaganda and justification of extremist ideology” has been introduced in the State Duma. The amendment will be made to Article 280 of the Criminal Code (“Public calls for extremist activity”), which provides for punishment in the form of a fine of up to 300 thousand rubles (about $3,300) or imprisonment of up to five years.

According to the document, “public statements recognizing the ideology and practice of extremism as correct, in need of support, and imitation” will be considered public justifications of extremism. At the same time, extremist propaganda will be considered the “dissemination of information aimed at informing a person about an extremist ideology, conviction in its attractiveness, or the idea of the admissibility of extremist activities.”

“This bill is our reaction, among other things, to the propaganda of so-called “mass-shootings” — mass murders in educational institutions and kindergartens. The justification of such terrible crimes, as well as any attempt to present them as ‘fashionable,’ to young people through the Internet or social media is an extremely dangerous trend,” Vasily Piskarev, one of the co-sponsors of the bill and head of the State Duma’s Security Committee, wrote on his Telegram channel.

It should be noted that a similar article already exists in the Russian Criminal Code — article 205.2 (“Public calls for terrorist activity, public justification of terrorism, or propaganda of terrorism”). This article, which provides for up to seven years in prison, is often used for repressive purposes.

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