10 April 2013, 10:00
Bill defending believers' feelings passes first reading in Duma
Moscow, April 10, Interfax - The State Duma has passed a bill in its first reading that would introduce prison confinement for insulting believers' feelings and for vandalizing holy places.
Chapter 25 of the Criminal Code dealing with crimes against citizens' health and ethical norms would be supplemented with an article on criminal liability for insulting the feelings of religious people and for vandalizing holy relics, places of pilgrimage and other places intended to be used for religious rites and ceremonies.
Publicly insulting or humiliating participants in church services or other religious rites and ceremonies, or insulting citizens' faith or feelings would be punishable by a fine of up to 300,000 rubles, or mandatory labor lasting up to 200 hours or prison confinement of up to three years.
Vandals could be fined from 100,000 to 500,000 rubles, or be punished by mandatory labor lasting up to 400 hours, or prison confinement of up to five years.
The administrative offence, stipulated in Article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Offences (violations of the laws on the freedom of conscience, religion and religious organizations) would incur a fine of 10,000 to 30,000 rubles for private individuals and 50,000 to 100,000 rubles against officials.
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