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Russian Officials Propose to Cancel Controversial Anti-Extremism Law

Three State Duma deputies have introduced a bill to cancel Article 282 of Russia's Criminal Code against inciting hatred or enmity, according to the Duma's website.

The bill's authors, Mikhail Degtyarev, Alexei Didenko and Ivan Sukharev, all from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), claim that the law can be used against Russian citizens for political purposes.

The vague wording of the article allows to prosecute “any citizen because of his different ideological views", the bill says.

Notable victims of the article include regional deputy Olga Li, who was seen in a video criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, the organizers of a pro-Pussy Riot art exhibition, and a Moscow teenager who petitioned to cancel the country's annual Victory Day parade.

Article 282 carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Last year, 414 Russian people were convicted based on Article 282. The figure shows a steady rise from 137 convictions in 2011, the Gazeta.ru news website reported, citing a May report by the Center for Economic and Political Reforms.

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