Frankfort, KY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/06/2013 -- Grover Arnett Kentucky clients were somewhat surprised to learn that MPs in Russia have given the go-ahead for a new anti-blasphemy law, which would impose high fines and longer prison terms on those who are found guilty of offending those with strong religious beliefs. Drafting of this bill began last year, after a punk group sang a song in the main cathedral Moscow, in protest against the actions of President Vladimir Putin. Two members of the group are currently serving sentences in Russian penal colonies.
The bill states that those found guilty of blasphemy may either fined up to £6,300, or imprisoned for up to three years. The Grover Arnett attorney law firm learned from news reports that the bill is being supported by Putin, and during a first reading of it on the 9th of April, Russia’s lower house, the Duma, passed it. In order for the bill to become law, it must be passed another two times, and be voted on by the Federation Council, after which Putin must sign off on it.
The content of the bill discusses offences against the primary religions of Russia, which form a part of the country’s historical inheritance; this includes Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Grover Arnett ky clients recall that it was in August of last year that the two punk group members, namely, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were sentenced to prison terms for their actions, which the court believed to be motivated by religious hatred. There was international outcry after the sentences were imposed.
A number of critics and human rights activists have said that the wording of the new bill is far too vague, and that this in turn could result in prosecutions which are unjustified. Yuri Sinelshchikov, a former prosecutor and a Communist MP, has warned that the bill is likely to incite an aggressive form of combative atheism. Several human rights activists have pointed out that due to the way in which the bill is worded, even things such as teaching the theory of the big bang, in regards to the origins of the universe, or teaching the theory of evolution by Darwin, could be deemed blasphemous. One of the bill’s authors, Yaroslav Nilov, who is a member of the LDPR, has argued that these issues are irrelevant, as the bill will most likely be amended before it is put through the next round of votes.
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