Interfax: Russian bill tightening liability for extremism signed into law

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that toughens liability for extremism-related crimes.

The document amends Russia’s Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, according to the authorities’ legal information website.

“In an effort to neutralize the threats to national security posed by the destructive activities of religious organizations on Russian territory, the bill proposes enhancing criminal liability for crimes regulated by Article 280 “Public calls for extremist activity”, Article 282 “Incitement of hatred or enmity and abasement of human dignity, Article 282.1 “The establishment of an extremism community”, and Article 282.2 “The organization of an extremist group’s activity” of Russia’s Penal Code,” according to explanatory documents to the bill.

The document also envisions larger fines, longer prison sentences and longer terms of community service for those convicted of crimes related to extremism.

From now on, persons found guilty of publicly calling for extremism may be sentenced to up to four years of community service or a fine ranging from 300,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles. Persons convicted of setting up an extremist community (Part 1 of Article 282 of the Russian Penal Code) may be ordered to pay a fine ranging from 200,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles (200,000 rubles previously), or their incomes for 18 months to three years may be confiscated (18 months previously).

Apart from that, such people may be sentenced to up to five years of community service (four years previously) with travel restrictions from one to two years.

Such offences also carry a prison term of up to six years and a ban on holding certain public posts for up to ten years.

People found guilty of involvement with an extremist community will be sentenced to four years in prison, as compared with two-year sentences envisioned by the previous law. The third part of the document proposes increasing fines to 700,000 rubles (300,000 rubles previously) and prison sentences to seven years (six years previously) with a ban on holding certain public posts.

Persons convicted of organizing an outlawed extremist group’s operations may be sentenced to fines up to 500,000 rubles (200,000 rubles in the previous law), the confiscation of their incomes for up to three years and a prison term up to six years with a ban on holding certain public posts for up to ten years or without such a ban.

Participation in an extremist group (Part 2 of Article 282.2) carries a fine of up to 300,000 rubles, the confiscation of a person’s incomes for up to two years or a prison sentence of up to four years.