Russian politicians contemplating fines and arrests for ‘foreign agents’

The Russian State Duma to review a draft law introducing fines for violation of media legislation by ‘foreign agents’.

The bill provides for penalties both for the foreign media and for Russian legal entities in the status of ‘foreign agents’. The first violation of the ‘Foreign Agents’ law provides a fine of 10K Russian rubles for individuals to 500K — for legal entities ($ 8,550).

Repeated violation within a year will entail a punishment by a fine of 50 thousand rubles ($ 850) for individuals and up to one million rubles ($ 17,102) – for legal entities. Each subsequent violation (third or more during the year) will be punished with a fine of 100,000 rubles ($ 1,700), or imprisonment for up to 15 days for individuals and by a fine of 5 million rubles ($ 85,511) for legal entitties.

The bill will come into force on January 1, 2018.

In November, Russia adopted a law allowing the Ministry of Justice to register the foreign media in the status of a ‘foreign agent’. Such media are to be held accountable to the Russian authorities for their work and to label their products. So far the Ministry of Justice has not included any of the media outlets in the ‘foreign agents’ list.

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