Russia adopts scandalous law increasing fines for protesters
Monday, June 11, 2012
By: Kaos GL
Late on Tuesday night, the State Duma passed the law that toughens rules during rallies. The law was approved after hours of discussion. On Wednesday the law was adopted by the Upper Chamber of Russias parliament, the Federation Council.
During the second reading, 239 deputies voted for the adoption of the law, 207 voted against it, one deputy abstained. Deputies from Just Russia Party left the hall, protesting the results of the vote. The third and the final reading ended up with 241 deputies voting for the law and 147 voting against. No one abstained. According to the law, the maximum sanctions are now: 300.000 rubles (some $10.000) for individuals or, as an alternative, 200 hours of community work. Officials may be fined up to 600.000 rubles. The fines for legal entities may be up to 1 million rubles. Earlier, the fine was only 1000 rubles (some $33).
Polina Korchagina, from VIKHOD (Coming Out) in Russia, who was also a guest speaker at the 7th International Meeting Against Homophobia organized by Kaos GL; spoke to kaosgl.org: “It means that any rally can be closed down and people can be arrested and fined because its hard to prove that you violated something like ‘You needed more protection from the police that was stated in the application’ or ‘You applied for 630 participanta and there are 631’."
Opposition deputies tried to protract the adoption of the law by suggesting almost 500 amendments, each of them was discussed. This way of slowing down the process of the law adoption was called in Duma "an Italian strike."
Some 40 people gathered near the State Duma late Tuesday to protest against the law. They were not shouting any slogans.
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