Russian lawmakers have adopted a contentious bill that ramps up fines for protesters taking part in illegal rallies, the Associated Press reported.
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The bill was easily passed by the parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, just hours after going through the State Duma, or lower house, on its third reading.
The opposition Just Russia party successfully stalled the bill’s passage by calling for votes on hundreds of amendments, Agence France Presse reported, but after 11 hours of debate, it was finally pushed through.
The bill, backed by the ruling United Russia party, must now be signed into law by the President, Vladimir Putin.
It raises the penalty for those participating in unsanctioned protests from 2,000 rubles to 300,000 rubles, or about 9,000 dollars, AP reported.
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The NGO Human Rights Watch has criticized the measure, saying it will severely hinder the Russian people’s right to peaceful assembly.