Russia to ban ‘fake news’ and ‘disrespect’ of government

Russian Parliament has passed two bills on Thursday. The first bill bans any activities of ‘disrespect’ to the state, its officials and Russian society. The second one is against spreading of what the Kremlin perceives to be ‘fake news’. It is expected that the Russian President Vladimir Putin will be signing these bills into law soon.

Both these new crimes carries heavy fines. It is reported that oppositions came from journalists, human rights group and even government ministers. The body will consider both the bills on 13th March.

The punishments for the ‘disrespect’ to the state includes fines up to 100,000 roubles (£1,150; $1,500). Repeated violations of the law could double or even triple the amount in fines, or a 15-day jail sentence.

The punishments for spreading ‘fake news’ varies. Individuals, officials and businesses will be fined 300,000, 600,000 or 1 million roubles respectively if the news spread affects “functioning of critical infrastructure” like transport or communications. The articles that containing “blatant disrespect” for the government or “public morality” should be deleted within 24 hours.

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