Impunity for perpetrators of attacks on journalists – one of the serious problems in Russia
State Duma deputies on Friday will consider a bill involving increased penalties for attacks on journalists – up to 15 years imprisonment.
"The current penalties for crimes against journalists are not sufficient" – quoted by Interfax one of the sponsors of the amendments to the bill Irina Yarovaya from the "United Russia".
A new bill introduced in 144 of the Penal Code (obstruction of lawful professional activities of journalists "), the third part, which stipulates that if the offense is committed with violence dangerous to life or health, or the threat of such violence, the perpetrator could face deprivation liberty from 6 to 15 years.
In addition, the document sets out the responsibility for the fact of the use of violence to obstruct the activities of a journalist.
Now, for violence against media workers, that will not cause harm, or caused minor injury, faces from 2 to 5 years Imprisonment. Under current rules now, this crime May Not result in Imprisonment.
The document was submitted to the Lower House on the initiative of Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ).
The reason for this Has Been a series of attacks on Russian Journalists. Among the latest Incidents – Brutal Beating of a Correspondent of the Newspaper "Businessman" and the well-known blogger Oleg Kashin on the Night of November 6.
The journalist Received a Concussion, He HAD a Broken Finger, Leg and Jaw. Kashin underwent Several Operations.
Opinions in the journalistic Community about the Bill is divided. Some Welcome the new Legislative Initiative, others Fear That Will Expose These amendments Journalists’ Relatives.
Expectations and fears
If perekosobochit legislation so that an attack on a journalist would be considered a felony, and assault on journalists’ children, parents, wife, his girlfriend would be considered disorderly conduct – this is where it all shut up
"A journalist – he certainly must be counted among the public figures, and the attitude to him in the society should be, respectively, to create a normal environment around the work of journalists. If such a law is passed, the law enforcement services will be in a different way to relate to these crimes, "- said in an interview with BBC chairman of the Russian Journalists Union Vsevolod Bogdanov.
Glavred Kommersant’s Mikhail Mikhailin his part expressed his doubts about the need for additional legislation to protect journalists.
"I believe that the current law is enough for the state to protect its citizens, who are its taxpayers. The main thing is that the punishment was inevitable for their crimes against the person. Stronger or weaker than to punish … two or three years difference in a big role do not play "- he said in an interview with the BBC.
In addition, Glavred Kommersant noted with regret that the authors of the bill did not discuss the amendments with the professional community.
"Journalists’ Union did not consult with us. It is a strange organization that is taking some action without consulting with the department. At the publishing house" Kommersant "no one asked his position, Alexei Alekseevich Venediktova Nobody asked, but he is against. I do I do not know what the reaction would be in the society after this law is adopted and reviewed, "- said Mikhailin.
Journalist Valery Panyushkin criticized the initiative of deputies, which may, in his opinion, endanger the children of journalists.
"Stop mad! If perekosobochit legislation so that an attack on a journalist would be considered a felony, and assault on journalists’ children, parents, wife, his girlfriend would be considered disorderly conduct – here is everything and shut up" – wrote in his column Panyushkin on Radio Liberty.
Russian human rights activists call one of the main problems in Russia impunity for perpetrators of killings and attacks on journalists.