Vienna, 7 March 2019
The Duma (lower house) of the Russian Parliament passed today a package of laws with harsh penalties for “fake news” and “disrespecting” the state. The Vienna South East Europe Media Organsiation is alarmed about this new regulation.
Disrespect towards the state or society are punishable by up to 15 days in prison and “dissemination of fake news” allow the authorities to block such content immediately without reference to a judge. The new offence will be punishable by fines of up to 1,350 EUR for first offenders, and 4,000 EUR or 15 days in prison for repeat offenders. Additional regulations covers “the dissemination of patently inexact information of general interest” that could be “prejudicial to citizens, their property, safety or public order or disrupt the functioning” of a infrastructure. The penalties range from 5,400 EUR for individuals to 20,000 EUR for legal subjects.