MOSCOW, April 1 (RAPSI) – A group of State Duma deputies have submitted a bill to tighten the criminal and administrative penalties for repeat violations of public event and demonstration regulations.
A new article is to be added to the Criminal Code to introduce fines ranging between 600,000 and 1 million rubles ($16,850-$28,080) or up to five years’ imprisonment for repeat violations of demonstration regulations. Repeat violators in this case are those who were sentenced to administrative penalty within the previous 180 days. The Administrative Offences Code is to be amended to increase the length of administrative arrest from 15 to 30 days.
Demonstration participants and organizers can be held for 30 days for resisting the police, the Federal Security Service or the Federal Guard Service. Fines will range from 5,000 rubles ($140) for individuals, to 10,000-20,000 rubles ($280-$560) for officials and to 50,000-100,000 rubles ($1,405-$2,810) for legal entities.
The bill also stipulates tighter penalties for hindering the operation of social facilities, specifically, fines of between 10,000 and 20,000 rubles ($280-$560), or 100 hours of compulsory community service, or up to 15 days of administrative arrest. Fines for officials will range from 50,000 to 100,000 rubles ($1,405-$2,810) and for legal entities, from 200,000 to 300,000 rubles ($5,615-$8,425).
A law vastly increasing fines was proposed by ruling United Russia party in 2012 following clashes between police and demonstrators at a central Moscow rally on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s May 7, 2012 inauguration as president for a third term. It was then fast-tracked through parliament and signed into law by Putin in June 2012.
The law raised the minimum fine for participation by private citizens in illegal protests from 100 rubles ($3.30) to 10,000 rubles ($330). The maximum fine for damage to person or property at a protest was set at just over $9,000. The average monthly salary in Russia is around $900, although wages are much higher in Moscow and St Petersburg.