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Homeland Security

Russian Upper House OKs Bill on Up to 5 Years of Imprisonment for COVID-19 Disinformation

Sputnik News

14:13 GMT 31.03.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian upper house, the Federation Council, approved on Tuesday a bill that makes the dissemination of fake information about the coronavirus a crime punishable with up to five years of imprisonment.

Under the bill, the punishment for public dissemination of deliberately false information about issues that present a threat to public life and security as well as about measures taken to tackle this threat will vary depending on consequences of such a crime.

It may be punished by a fine from 300,000 ($3,825) to 700,000 ($8,925) rubles, up to 1 year of community service, or up to 3 years of imprisonment.

However, if the dissemination of deliberately false information results in health harm, or someone's death, or other dire consequences, it will be punishable with fines of up to 2 million rubles or up to five years in prison.

In addition, the upper house approved a bill on criminal liability of up to 7 years in prison for violating coronavirus quarantine rules.

The president is yet to sign the bills into law.

Russia registered 500 new cases in 24 hours, 387 of them in the capital, the national COVID-19 response centre said earlier in the day. The total number of cases has reached 2,337.


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