Lawmakers from Just Russia party have introduced a bill in parliament for an alternative law regulating protests developed by former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin’s Civic Initiative Committee, Interfax reported.
Pro-government lawmakers gave preliminary approval to an increase in the maximum fine for protesters who violate the law to 500,000 rubles ($16,100) from 2,000 rubles. The opposition condemned the initiative as an attempt to stifle the constitutional right to free expression. Just Russia is hoping the proposed law will become an alternative to the United Russia’s plan, Interfax said, citing Ilya Ponomarev, a lawmaker with the party.
Police beat demonstrators in Moscow with batons and arrested hundreds of them on May 6 and in the following days during a series of unauthorized gatherings. Activists who clashed with police before President Vladimir Putin’s May 7 inauguration are protesting non-stop in Moscow, using the Occupy Wall Street movement’s tactics.
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