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Blasphemy Laws On the Way in Russia?

Blasphemy Laws On the Way in Russia? September 29, 2012

In the wake of the Pussy Riot scandal, some Russian lawmakers are pushing for even broader laws to prevent people from offending the delicate sensibilities of religious believers (meaning, in this case, Russian Orthodox Christian believers only, I suspect).

The declaration has no binding force but sets the tone for legislation that Yaroslav Nilov, head of the Duma committee on civic and religious groups, said would be presented to parliament as early as this week.

Nilov said a proposed amendment would introduce criminal responsibility for offences against religious beliefs and feelings and impose a jail term of up to three years.

Critics said such laws would blur the line between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church and called the move part of a crackdown on dissent under Putin, who began a six-year presidential term in May.

Putin, in recent comments on Pussy Riot, the global protests over the video “The Innocence of Muslims” and the killings of Islamic leaders in Russia, has said that extremists were trying to tear Russia apart and that the feelings of the faithful must be protected by the state.

This is no surprise. It’s been obvious for a long time that Putin is a power-hungry wannabe dictator.

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