People who spread what Russian authorities consider to be fake news or who show “disrespect” to the state will face tough new fines. Vladimir Putin signed the policy into law on Monday. Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny called the new legislation “lawless” and said it aims at silencing Putin’s critics. What issues are the laws addressing? The goal of the legislation is to crack down on “fake news” and make disrespecting authorities a crime. It will allow prosecutors to direct complaints about material considered insulting to Russian officials to the government, which can then block websites publishing the information. The Kremlin says the law on fake news is aimed at stopping the “dissemination of unreliable socially significant information under the guise of credible reports by restricting access to information expressing disrespect for the authorities”. “The idea seems to be to quickly prevent the spread of the information that the authorities think can spark protests,” says Ekaterina Shulman, political analyst and member of the Human Rights Council under Russia’s president. “But the vagueness of the initiatives could be dangerous.” What could happen to those deemed to have broken the law? People who are charged under the new fake news legislation face… Read full this story
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