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Russia's Duma decriminalized domestic violence

Russia's Duma decriminalized domestic violenceRussia’s lower house of parliamen, the State Duma, on Friday passed legislation making domestic violence an administrative rather than criminal offence, only if it’s for the first time, Tass news agency reported.

The legislation, dubbed by some Russian media outlets a "slapping law," concerns both parents who beat their children and husbands who assault their wives.

The State Duma voted 380-3 for the bill, two days after it passed its second reading.

The document amends Article 116 of the Russian Criminal Code by excluding physical assaults on relatives from criminal offences while a person who commits the repeated assaults will be prosecuted according to criminal law, the authors say. The law stands for harm that inflict physical pain but do not cause serious body injury. If there is any threat to the person’s health, the attacker will face criminal charges.

In cases of repeated assaults, a defendant will face a fine of up to 40,000 rubles ($676), compulsory community service for up to six months or an arrest for up to three months. The administrative offence for first-time physical assaults envisages a fine of up to 30,000 rubles ($507), an arrest up to 15 days or compulsory community service up to 120 hours.
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