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Russian Lawmaker Proposes Decriminalizing Domestic Violence

  • RFE/RL

Yelena Mizulina is a member of Russia's upper house of parliament. (file photo)

Yelena Mizulina is a member of Russia's upper house of parliament. (file photo)

The Russian lawmaker responsible for the country's notorious "gay propaganda" law has proposed new legislation that would decriminalize domestic violence.

Current Russian law prescribes prison sentences of up to two years or a fine of up to 40,000 rubles ($600) for people found guilty of spousal or child abuse.

But Yelena Mizulina, a member of the upper house of parliament, called those punishments unacceptable, and called for changing "these absurd positions."

Russian news media said her proposed amendments to the Criminal Code would turn domestic violence into a misdemeanor, administrative offense.

The "gay propaganda" measure Mizulina helped push into law in 2013 prohibits the distribution of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships."

Its passage prompted widespread international, and some domestic, criticism.

It also prompted some world leaders to boycott the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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