The Guardian reports:
Russia’s parliament has approved a controversial law that allows courts to jail people for online “disrespect” of government or state officials, including the president, Vladimir Putin.
The law, which critics say is reminiscent of Soviet-era legislation used to target political dissidents, stipulates fines of up to 100,000 roubles (£1,155) for “indecent” online posts that demonstrate a “blatant disrespect for society, the country, Russia’s official state symbols, the constitution, or the authorities”.
Repeat offenders can be hit with fines of up to twice this sum, or 15 days behind bars. Putin is thought to be extremely sensitive to perceived insults. One of his first acts when he came to power in 2000 was to target a satirical television show called Kukly (Puppets) that was broadcast by the NTV television station.
This sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?