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30 Mar, 2010 11:15

Jail for rehabilitation of Nazism: draft law

Jail for rehabilitation of Nazism: draft law

A draft law imposing criminal liability of up to five years behind bars for the rehabilitation of Nazism has been submitted to the State Duma by a group of MPs from the ruling United Russia party.

As Russia is preparing to celebrate the 65th anniversary of victory in WWII, the deputies are determined to combat any attempts of rewriting the country’s history.

The parliamentarians, headed by the speaker of the house Boris Gryzlov, suggested amendments to the country’s penal law. The idea is to include a new article – “The Rehabilitation of Nazism” – into Russia’s Criminal Code. That would mean that anyone who publicly approves or denies Nazi war crimes determined by the Nuremberg Trials would be fined for up to 300,000 roubles (US$10,000) or imprisoned for up to three years.

Moreover, if such an offense is committed by a person using one’s official position or mass media, the punishment will be even harsher: up to half a million roubles in fines or up to five years in jail.

“We believe it is necessary to include such a rule into the Criminal Code,” said United Russia deputy Irina Yarovaya, as published on the party’s official website. “There is no doubt that the Nuremberg Trials’ decisions were made based on the results of the Second World War and by the participants of the events.”

The entire international community condemned the war crimes committed during the years of WWII.

“We believe it is unacceptable if today politicians or any other figures attempted to distort history, rewrite the past, trying to change the future that way,” the deputy said. “We think that is the least the deputies could do in order to protect the historic truth, and honor and dignity of a Soviet soldier-liberator.”

In the explanatory letter submitted with the draft, RIA Novosti writes, the MPs – citing Article 107 of the UN Charter – stated that revaluation of the International Tribunal decisions by giving approval to the Nazi policies or by denying the Nazi crimes is an international crime itself.

The draft submitted on Tuesday is the second version of the law, since the first one did not get the government’s approval.