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Russia Introduces 'Restriction Of Freedom' Punishment

MOSCOW -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a law that introduces "restriction of freedom" as a new penalty, mainly for minor crimes, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The law was adopted by the State Duma on December 16 and the Federation Council on December 25.

It states that the new penalty -- which can be used beginning on January 10 -- may be given for minor crimes and as an additional punishment for some serious crimes.

A defendant sentenced to the so-called house arrest will be denied the right to leave his house at certain times of the day, leave the territory or municipality, visit and participate in public events, or change his place of residence, workplace, or school without the consent of a special oversight body.

Persons given the punishment will periodically undergo an inspection at their residence.

The penalty may be given for a minimum of two months and up to four years.