OREANDA-NEWS. The State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted in the first reading a bill on criminal liability for libel on the Internet, which also generally toughens penalties for such statements.

According to TASS, this bill has long been awaited. 296 deputies voted for the document, 95 were against.

The bill provides for an amendment to the article on defamation of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, according to which a clarification is added that defamation is punishable, also if it is committed on the Internet.

The punishment for various kinds of libel spread on the Internet is increasing. The punishment for libel committed with the use of official position is being increased. Now for this it is proposed to imprison for three years. Up to four years in a colony threatens those who spread defamatory information that allegedly a particular person suffers from a disease that is dangerous to others. Those who disseminate slanderous accusations of rape, a grave or especially grave crime will be sent to jail for five years.

For libel on the Internet, in the media or in any other public place, it is proposed to fine one million rubles, or punish with compulsory labor for up to 240 hours, or forced labor for up to two years, or imprisonment for two years.

During the discussion of the draft law, LDPR deputy Dmitry Pianykh emphasized that it is necessary to distinguish slander from insults, recalling that harsh criticism is often expressed on the Global Network, including against government officials, while such statements do not imply malicious intent.