Bill criminalizing insulting of believers' feelings, defiling of religious objects submitted to Duma

A bill introducing imprisonment for insulting the feelings of believers and defiling religious objects has been submitted to the State Duma, Yaroslav Nilov, the head of the Duma committee on affairs of public associations and religious organizations, told Interfax on Wednesday.

"The bill has been submitted. It introduces a type of crime related to the insulting of religious convictions and feelings," Nilov told Interfax on Wednesday.

The bill carries a maximum punishment of up to three years in prison for this crime. Less serious offences could be punished by a fine amounting to up to 300,000 rubles (about $ 10 000) and compulsory work of up to 200 hours.

The document also criminalizes the defiling or destruction of sites and objects of worship.

"This would be punished by a fine of up to 500,000 rubles (about $ 16 000), up to 400 hours of compulsory work, or up to 5 years of imprisonment," Nilov said.

The bill also specifies the public defiling or destruction of religious and theological literature, signs, or emblems as an administrative offence to be punished by a fine ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles (about $ 1000 - 1.500).

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