2012-06-22 18:11:00

MPs seek to change Criminal Code to punish Silver Galosh and Pussy Riot

Moscow, June 22, Interfax - The United Russia MPs prepare amendments to 282 Article of the Russian Criminal Code for kindling hatred or hostility and humiliation of human dignity," the Izvestia daily writes in Friday.

"Amendments will make it more precise and allow bringing an action against, for example, the Silver Galosh organizers. If amendments are adopted, Galosh's organizers will be fined for 300 thousand rubles or imprisoned for one or two years," the paper quoted MP Alexey Zhuravlyov as saying.

He said that at present this article was often applied to activists of Russian patriotic movement while actions that, according to the United Russia deputies, can be qualified as kindling hatred and hostility deserve another article.

Zhuravlyov refers proceedings against Pussy Riot punk group to such actions: the girls are charged with "hooliganism," though the deputy believes the their actions are kindling of religious hatred.

"The Silver Galosh that was given to the Patriarch is exactly 282 article, we should toughen the punishment. They should think what they do. It's another time when the Patriarch was subjected to attacks for his patriotic position. It's an insult of religious feelings for many Orthodox believers," Zhuravlyov said.

He said that deputies were working out the text of amendments and would be ready to introduce them at the autumn session.

Head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin agreed with law makers that people who kindle hatred should feel the tough power of law rather than pay fines.

"Such symbolic crimes aim at changing power in society - to humiliate these ones and to praise others. It can lead to civil conflict and bring society to the edge of total civil war," the priest said.

Several years ago some websites posted a photo that displayed Breguet watch on the Patriarch's hand. Patriarch was criticized for liking material goods. The Patriarch said it was a collage, while his watches was not expensive.

The patriarchal press service stated that staff members of its photo branch made a "ridiculous mistake" when working with an archive posted on the website. Many people thought it was an attempt to airbrush the Patriarch's expensive watch.