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Putin Signs Law Exempting Religious Texts From Extremism Charges

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law legislation exempting holy books from being branded as extremist.

Under the law, contents and quotations from holy books such as the Bible and Koran "cannot be recognized as extremist material" by Russian courts.

Putin himself put forward the bill on October 14 and it was later adopted by both chambers of parliament.

The move came after a judge in the Far East city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in August banned a book about Islam, arguing it included verses of the Koran that are "extremist."

The ruling by Natalya Perchenko sparked an outcry from Russia's Muslim community.

In 2013, a Russian court decision to ban a translation of the Koran was overturned following protests by Muslim clerics.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS