MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed bills restricting online media and making a criminal of anyone who insults the state — laws that critics see as part of Kremlin efforts to stifle criticism and tighten media control.
A bill passed by the Russian parliament earlier this month introduces fines for publishing materials showing disrespect to the state, its symbols or government organs. Repeat offenders could face a 15-day jail sentence.
Another bill envisages blocking anyone who publishes “fake news” online that is perceived to threaten public health and security. It gives those who publish such information a day to correct or remove it. If they fail to do so, prosecutors will move to block them.
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Putin has signed both bills, according to information posted Monday on the government portal of legal information.
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