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Discussion of anti-blasphemy law continues

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/1303b.html#13 Discussion of anti-blasphemy law continues GOVERNMENT GIVES NEGATIVE ASSESSMENT OF BILL ON SACRILEGE
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 13, 2013
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      http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/1303b.html#13


      Discussion of anti-blasphemy law continues

      GOVERNMENT GIVES NEGATIVE ASSESSMENT OF BILL ON SACRILEGE
      Interfax-Religiia, 13 March 201
      <http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=50345>3

      The government of the Russian federation (RF) gave a negative assessment
      to the draft law that proposes to introduce administrative liability for
      sacrilege and to change the standards of the criminal article dealing
      with incitement of hatred or strife.

      The government considered the draft law to introduce changes in articles
      213 (hooliganism) and 282 (inciting hatred or strife as well as
      demeaning human dignity) of the Criminal Code of RF, and also in article
      5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law (violation of
      legislation on freedom of conscience and freedom of religious
      confession) proposed by State Duma Deputy Aleksei Zhuravlev. The review
      was published on Wednesday on the website of the government.

      The draft law proposes to invalidate the standard of the criminal code
      that establishes liability for hooliganism committed for reasons of
      political, ideological, racial, national, or religious hatred or strife.

      At the same time, it proposes to introduce a new version of part 1,
      article 282 of the criminal code, specifically providing for liability
      for actions "including those committed as hooliganism whose sense
      demeans human dignity or places in doubt the equality of people or a
      group of people on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language,
      ancestry, attitude on religion, as well as affiliation with some social
      group."

      The government's review notes that the phrasing used in the proposed
      version---"actions whose sense demeans human dignity" and "places in
      doubt the equality of people or a group of people"---are indefinite,
      which is contrary to the position of the Constitutional Court of RF.

      In addition, the cabinet of ministers called attention to the absence in
      current legislation of the concept of "sacrilege," which is proposed in
      the new version of part 2, article 5.26 in the Code of Administrative
      Violations of Law.

      It is proposed to establish in the Code of Administrative Violations of
      Law responsibility for sacrilege---disrespect for the religious feelings
      of citizens expressed by way of insulting their religious views or
      desecration of places, worship facilities, objects, or signs and emblems
      symbolizing worldviews they venerate.

      The government's review notes: "The explanatory note to the draft law
      does not contain adequate legal reasoning and statistical data
      demonstrating the need for introducing the corresponding changes. The
      suggested changes contradict existing approaches to the regulation of
      issues in this sphere and they need additional rationale."

      Meanwhile, as has been reported, on 25 September 2012 representatives of
      all four fractions introduced to the State Duma a draft law proposing to
      introduce criminal responsibility for hurting believers' feelings. In
      January it became known that the Council on Human Rights of the
      president of RF formed an expert group along with deputies for
      correcting this draft law. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 March 2013)


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