Russia’s lower house of Parliament this week passed two bills condemned by Amnesty International for stifling fundamental human rights, including the right to free expression.
First off, the State Duma passed a bill outlawing actions perceived as “offending religious feelings.” That’s right: if your behavior offends a person of faith, you could do jail time:
The bill stipulated that “public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed with the goal of offending religious feelings of the faithful” would be punishable with jail terms of up to three years in prison as well as fines of up to AU$9700. … Public desecration of religious objects or books are also punishable by fines of up to AU$6500.
The government won’t hesitate to admit what sparked such a specific bill: the feminist performance group Pussy Riot‘s infamous public performances from last year, which openly denounced the Russian government and landed the band members in jail. Apparently Russia’s still mad about that one:
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