Russia’s ‘Fake News’ Law Could Sentence Violators to 15 Years in Prison

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Russia’s lower house of parliament has passed a law punishing ‘fake news’ with up to 15 years in prison, according to Reuters. The rule would impose fines or jail time for spreading false information about the military, as well as fines for people who publicly call for sanctions against Russia. Courts would impose the harshest penalties for false news that carries “serious consequences”.

According to earlier coverage from Moscow timethe bill aims to penalize people who “knowingly distort the purpose, role and tasks of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as other units during special and other military operations”, including people who disseminate information on Russian war losses.

“Literally by tomorrow, this law will impose sanctions – and very severe sanctions – on those who lied and made statements that discredited our armed forces,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the Duma legislative body. of Russian state, in a press release quoted by Reuters. The rule still needs to pass the upper house of parliament and be signed by President Vladimir Putin. Putin signed a previous ‘fake news’ law in 2019 this includes fines and jail time for disrespecting the Russian government, but the sentence was a much lighter 15 days.

Russia has already cracked down on media and social platforms amid its invasion of Ukraine, challenge external death declarations which far exceed his own tally and oppose descriptions of the invasion as a war rather than a “special military operation”. Technology and communications regulatory agency Roskomnadzor partially blocked Facebook for allegedly restricting public media accounts, then blocked Twitter soon after. He demanded that Wikipedia remove so-called false reports of casualties among Russian military troops as well as Ukrainian civilians, including childrenalthough he didn’t appear to follow through with a threat to block him.

More recently, he blocked access to the BBC and other news sites for “undermining Russian stability and security” – which led to the British media broadcasting on shortwave radio.

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