Lawmakers propose toughening punishment for attacking journalists - report
MOSCOW, July 10 (RAPSI) - A group of State Duma members have sponsored a bill to toughen the punishment for attacking journalists, Izvestia daily reports on Wednesday.
The initiative was proposed by Mikhail Serdyuk from A Just Russia and Valery Trapeznikov from the United Russia party.
According to the bill, using, or threatening to use non-lethal violence or violence without causing serious damage to health will be punished by a fine of 200,000 rubles ($6,050), correctional labor or a prison sentence of up to five years. Violence that posed a danger to the victim's life and health will call for 10 years in prison.
At present, individuals who threaten or attack journalists face a maximum of five years of correctional labor or up to six years in prison. Furthermore, the attacker is only liable to these punishments in the event that the journalist was assailed while officially performing his or her job.
The new law, according to Serdyuk, will change the Criminal Code to expand this condition to any professional activity of the victim.
The term "professional activity" added to article 63 will give the court legal grounds to "increase the punishment and liability for criminal acts committed against victims carrying out their professional activity. At present, this article only covers their official job assignments," the explanatory note to the bill reads.