When will they start penalizing for “wrong” cards?

When will they start penalizing for “wrong” cards?

© Alexander Podgorchuk/Kommersant

Distributors of geographical maps, images and other products that dispute the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation may be held administratively liable. The State Duma plans to consider the draft law containing such norms in the second and third readings by the end of July, as it became known to Parliamentary Newspaper. Information that the law has already been adopted, disseminated by a number of media, does not correspond to reality. Moreover, the initiative has yet to be finalized, they want to amend it, which will not allow interpreting the new rule in two ways and punishing cards put into circulation before the admission of new regions to the Russian Federation.

Fine and arrest for Nazi materials

Following the plenary session of the State Duma on May 25, many publications reported that deputies passed a law according to which anyone who distributes maps or images that challenge the territorial integrity of Russia can be arrested for up to 15 days or subjected to a large fine. In fact, everything is not quite like that.

On May 25, the State Duma indeed adopted in the second and third readings a law that expanded the list of materials for the distribution of which may be held accountable. But we are talking about other publications. So, now punishments are provided only for the distribution of specific prohibited texts and images that have already been included in a special federal list of extremist materials published on the website of the Ministry of Justice. And the new law introduces liability for the distribution of any extremist materials that fall under the definition given in the Federal Law “On Counteracting Extremist Activities.” These are, for example, the works of the leaders of the National Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany, the Fascist Party of Italy, speeches and images of the heads of movements recognized as criminal by the Nuremberg Tribunal. This also includes publications that substantiate or justify national and racial superiority, crimes aimed at the destruction of any ethnic, social, racial, national or religious group.

Make it to the end of the session

At the same time, the State Duma is also considering a bill on incorrect cards. But so far it has been adopted only in the first reading and is now being prepared for the second. He refers to extremist materials such as cartographic and other images that challenge the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

Initially, when the bill was submitted to the State Duma on September 16 last year, there were complaints about maps where Crimea and the southern Kuril Islands were not included in the Russian Federation. Literally a couple of weeks later, on October 5, the President of Russia signed a law on the admission of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to the country. So now images of Russia without these regions should also be banned.

And this means that violators will be able to apply the norm of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, which provides for punishment for the mass distribution of extremist materials. But only after the bill is passed.

This may happen soon, the authors of the initiative believe. “I think that we will consider it in the near future, before the end of the spring session. In June-July, this is quite real, ”the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption told Parlamentskaya Gazeta Ernest Valeev.

His colleague, deputy chairman of the committee Anatoly Vyborny also hopes that the law will be adopted in the second and third reading before the end of July.

Read also:

• Why Crimea will always be Russian

Not Guilty Without Guilt

But the text itself can still change. So, it is necessary to eliminate the remarks indicated in the Government’s recall. In general, supporting the initiative, the Cabinet recalled that the concept of “extremist material” implies intent, the intention to commit illegal actions, in this case, to challenge the territorial integrity of Russia. In addition, it is not clear from the text of the draft whether maps and images that were put into circulation even before it was decided to admit new subjects to the Russian Federation would be subject to the law.

By the second reading, amendments will be made to the document, which will clearly indicate which actions will entail liability, Anatoly Vyborny noted. “The law will not have retroactive effect,” he stressed. They will punish those maps and images of Russia without new territories that are distributed and released after they have joined the country.

“In addition, it will be taken into account with what intentions such actions were committed,” Vyborny added.

There are already amendments that were formed by the Ministry of Justice, Ernest Valeev noted. “They just exclude the possibility of a dual reading, so that it doesn’t turn out that people will be held accountable without guilt,” he said, adding that people cannot be punished for mistakes, sanctions should be for deliberate actions.

Recall that the preparation of new maps in the country is regulated by the law on cartography. The requirements for displaying the state border on them are approved by Rosreestr in agreement with the Ministry of Defense. To clarify the boundaries, it is necessary to use information from the federal spatial data fund. It is also the task of Rosreestr to control that this is observed.


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