Russian State Duma considering draft to 'rigorously punish' those who insult the President

A bill is currently being drafted in the Russian State Duma "On protection of honor and dignity of the President of Russia". According to Izvestiya, the initiative was taken by LDPR Duma Deputy Roman Khudyakov.

Today, insults against any Russian official, including the President of the country, are included in the Common Article 319 of the Criminal Code (Insulting the authorities). The article imposes various penalties up to 1 year of correctional labor. The Deputy proposed to elaborate a Soviet-era article imposing a harsher penalty for insulting the President.

Khudyakov meant the Act of 1990, "On protection of honor and dignity of the Soviet President". The draft was sparked by video clips on YouTube containing insults against the President. Besides the developing of the draft, Khudyakov asked the Prosecutor Yury Chaika and the Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastyrkin to institute criminal proceedings for the people who posted the videos.

The previous Act to which Khudyakov referred involved imprisonment for up to three years for "damaging the honor and dignity of the Soviet President" and up to 6 years if committed with the use of media.

Two former Soviet Republics have articles establishing penalties for an insult of the President. The Criminal Code of Belarus includes Article 368, "Insult of the President of the Republic of Belarus", establishing the maximum penalty for up to three years imprisonment. The Criminal Code of Kazakhstan also includes Article 373, establishing three years imprisonment for public insult of the President.

  Russia, Putin, Duma

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