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4 Feb, 2014 08:41

New Russian anti-extremist law comes into force

New Russian anti-extremist law comes into force

President Putin has signed the bill introducing heavier fines and longer prison sentences for those convicted of extremism-related crimes.

The law was published on the official government portal on Tuesday and comes into force on the same day.

The maximum prison term for public calls for extremism is raised to four years. The minimum fine for the same crime is set at 100,000 roubles (about $2,850) while the maximum fine was left at 300,000 roubles (about $8,550).

The maximum punishment for inciting ethnic, religious or other types of hatred changes from two to four years, and the minimum fine was tripled and is now 300,000 roubles (about $8,550). The maximum fine again remains the same at 500,000 roubles (about $14,280).

The maximum penalty for the organizers of extremist groups is increased from the current four years to six years in prison. Anyone involved in such organisations would face up to four years instead of the current two.

The bill introducing tougher punishment for extremism was drafted by the government in June 2013.

The parliament is currently working on another bill that toughens the punishment for terrorists. Once passed into law it would increase the punishment for terrorist activities to life in prison.