11 Jan 2019 11:11

Communications and Mass Media Ministry against liability for insulting criticism of authorities, society

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) - The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has given the government a negative opinion on the package of bills introducing liability for insulting criticism of the authorities and society on the media, including the Internet, the newspaper Vedomosti said citing Deputy Minister Alexei Volin.

According to Volin, the "insult" notion used in the package of bills opens space for a broad interpretation while current laws already punish the use of foul language and Russians have the constitutional right to speak their mind.

"It is a duty of government agencies to calmly listen to the criticism of their performance. You're neither sugar nor salt that you'd melt," he said.

The State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communication will have an expanded meeting on January 14 to discuss two bills introducing administrative liability for the insulting expression of disrespect for society, the state and the authorities, as well as for the publishing of knowingly false news on the media, including the Internet, the newspaper said.