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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 04/11/2013, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Duma gives first green light to anti-blasphemy law in Russia

    Nina Achmatova

    Approved by Members on first hearing, the draft law against attacks on religious sentiment hardens penalties with up to five years in prison for those who commit sacrilegious acts. According to surveys, the Russians are in favor, but for human rights activists it sets a dangerous precedent.

    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) has approved the draft bill of the so-called "law against blasphemy and acts which offend the religious sentiment". The document, approved on 9 April, (criticized by human rights activists, but supported by the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate and most influential minority communities) provides for stiffer penalties for those who offend religious values ​​or commit actions deemed sacrilegious in places of worship.

    Supporters of the bill say it  aims to defend traditional Russian values ​​, where the Church and religion - they say -  are being targeted by a visible "anti-religious propaganda organized by enemies outside the country." Pussy Riot, the band feminist that staged a brief anti-Putin prayer punk in the cathedral of Moscow are used as an example of this theory. Two of its members are currently serving two years in prison in a labor camp as a result. During the trial they were accused of having offended the religious feelings of the faithful. For which the girls apologized, saying that it was a protest of a political nature.

    For Yaroslav Nilov - head of the Duma's Social and Religious Commission and co-author of the bill - the case Pussy Riot shows that the traditional beliefs of the country need adequate legislation to protect them. Nilov, a member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, said that "no one wants more gulags."

    The draft also increases fines from the current 1,000 rubles (32 dollars) to 300 thousand rubles (10 thousand dollars) for "publically insulting the faith and humiliation during liturgical services." The crime could carry up to three years' imprisonment or 200 hours of community service. For the desecration and destruction of religious objects, places of worship and pilgrimage, the fines will range from 100 to 500 thousand rubles, up to 400 hours mandatory social service or up to five years in prison.

    The Presidential Council for Human Rights had already criticized the vague wording of the proposed law against blasphemy last November, which could result in many miscarriages of justice.

    Responding to criticism Mikhail Markelov - deputy of the ruling United Russia party and another author of the draft law - recited data of a survey of the State institute VTsIOM, according to which 82% of Russians are in favor of the bill , especially after a succession of acts of vandalism against religious symbols: soiling of icons, crosses axed and chopped up in several parts of the country.

     

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    See also

    01/12/2007 RUSSIA
    Religions back Russian elections
    Orthodox, Muslim, Buddhist and Jews launch an appeal urging believers to “do their duty” and turn out to vote. Only 4 of the 11 parties is likely to reach the quorum of 7 percent needed to enter the Duma. A large turnout could grant Putin’s Party the desired parliamentary majority.

    12/03/2012 RUSSIA
    Anti-Putin punk band divides Orthodox community
    Pussy Riot improvised an irreverent performance inside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Now face up to 7 years in prison, after the head of the Patriarchate had called for severe punishment. Some of the faithful call for their release.

    03/12/2007 RUSSIA
    Putin’s expected landslide marred by suspected electoral fraud
    With 97 per cent of the vote counted, United Russia led by the Russian president wins big with 64.1 per cent of the vote. Four parties will be represented in Russia’s State Duma but only one will be really in the opposition. Turnout is high, reaching 99 per cent in Chechnya, but many international observers denounce illegalities, including a raffle for TVs in some polling stations.

    07/01/2005 RUSSIA
    Orthodox celebrate Christmas
    The Orthodox Church and other Christian denominations play a crucial role in society, says Putin. Some 11,000 people attended Midnight Mass at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.

    17/04/2008 RUSSIA
    Under the law Russian Orthodoxy to retain “supervisory” role in Catholic orphanages
    State Duma bill becomes law without the provision that would have allowed only public orphanages, but it confirms the control of the Russian Orthodox Church over Catholic institutions.



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