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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Russian Federation - January 2024

Confiscation a new punishment for “fake news”

Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a law that would allow the state to confiscate the property of anyone convicted of disseminating “fake news” about the Russian army, making public calls for extremism or against the security of the state, calling for sanctions against Russia or Russian citizens, and several other offenses. While vague and broad, the bill is widely understood to be aimed at discouraging and punishing anti-war activism. Although Russian law only allows for nonpunitive confiscation of property that was obtained as a result of the underlying crime, experts say its application is likely to be broader, as the burden of proof in such cases is very low and courts routinely fail to hold police to procedural requirements. The bill was drafted by Russian law enforcement bodies, supported by all but one political faction, has the backing of the Cabinet, and is expected to progress quickly through the remaining procedural steps to become law.

Sources: Meduza (1) , Meduza (2), Reuters 

Primary categories and factors
Rights -1 Rights  (-1)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression

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