Tymoshenko may be jailed for up to 5 years in Russia for calls for reintegrating Crimea in Ukraine - Moscow rights activist

Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Ukrainian party Batkivshchyna and a former prime minister, might soon face up to 5 years in prison in line with the Russian Criminal Code for calling in the media for "returning Crimea to its proper place".

Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Ukrainian party Batkivshchyna and a former prime minister, might soon face up to 5 years in prison in line with the Russian Criminal Code for calling in the media for "returning Crimea to its proper place," says Alexander Brod, a member of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council and director of the Moscow Human Rights Bureau.

"Yulia Tymoshenko said in a program on Ukrainian television that 'returning Crimea to its proper place' was the primary precondition for [Ukraine's] negotiations with Moscow. And this is a call for violating Russia's territorial integrity, and it's been made using the media," Brod said in a Saturday interview with Interfax.

"Amendments proposed by a group of State Duma deputies were made to the Russian Criminal Code at the end of last year, which envision up to 5 years' imprisonment for such statements made through the media. This new legislation will take effect on May 9, 2014," he said.

It was reported earlier that President Vladimir Putin had signed into law a bill criminalizing public calls for separatism at the end of 2013.

"Public calls for taking actions aimed at violating the Russian Federation's territorial integrity shall be punished by a fine of up to 300,000 rubles or in an amount of the convict's salary or other incomes over a period of up to 2 years, or compulsory work for up to 300 hours, or imprisonment of up to 3 years," the law says.

Those found guilty of the same actions committed with the use of media outlets or the Internet may face compulsory work of up to 480 hours or imprisonment of up to 5 years.

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