Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.45 7 Mar 2019


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Parliamentarians in Russia have approved a law that bans insults directed at the state.

The new legislation also targets fake news, and could see large fines for people.

RT reports that the law was adopted by the lower house of parliament, the Duma, in its final reading.

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It includes two bills to cover different types of misinformation.

One prohibits spreading "socially important" false information which "endangers life and well-being of citizens," incites mass disturbance of social order or breaches public security.

The other bill deals with "insulting the state or its symbols", such as the Russia flag.

Breaking the laws could see fines of up to 400,000 rubles (€5,355) for private individuals, up to 900,000 rubles (€12,049) for public officials and up to 1.5m rubles (€19,443) for organisations.

Russia is currently ranked 148th out of 180 countries in global press freedom rankings.

In comparison, Ireland was ranked 16th on the same list in 2018.

The organisation Reporters Without Borders has said: "Between draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012.

"Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence.

"As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with state-run propaganda, the climate has become increasingly oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse or just try to maintain quality journalism.

"At least five journalists are currently detained in connection with their reporting—an unprecedented number—and more and more bloggers are being jailed."

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said 58 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992.


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