PUTIN BANS OBSCENE LANGUAGE IN BOOKS, FILM AND CULTURAL EVENTS IN RUSSIA
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law that bans swearing at arts, cultural and entertainment events in the country. Any new film containing obscene language won’t be granted a distribution certificate. Copies of books, CDs or films containing swearing can only be distributed in a sealed package labeled “Contains obscene language,” a Kremlin statement said.
According to state news agency, individuals caught using foul language face a fine of up to $70, while officials can be fined up to $40 and businesses nearly $1,400. Determination of what counts as profane language will be done through “an independent examination.”
The legislation “bans the use of obscene language when ensuring the rights of Russian citizens to the use of the state language, and protecting and developing language culture.” The law could come into effect as soon as July 1, but it doesn’t apply to cultural and artistic works that have already been issued.
While some may hail attempts to clean up the nation’s language, it will likely be seen by critics as the latest step under Putin’s leadership to limit freedom of expression and promote a conservative, nationalist viewpoint. A report by rights group Amnesty International in January highlighted a denial of “basic freedoms” in Russia, which last year introduced a law barring anyone from talking positively about homosexuality within earshot of minors.