Putin's bill makes using profanity a punishable offense.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed off on a new law on Monday that "bans swearing at arts, cultural, and entertainment events in the country," CNN reports. People and organizations caught using profanity can receive fines ranging from $40 to $1400. Films containing obscene language will not be distributed in movie theaters. And books, music, and movies containing profanity will be distributed in sealed packages bearing "obscene content" warnings. I have three initial thoughts on this speech-suppressing, totalitarian move.
1. Putin has much, much bigger issues than swear words right now. Just a few minutes ago, he pulled Russian troops back from the Ukrainian border, in an attempt to quell some of the violence in the Crimea and prevent a full-scale war from erupting. The fact that a law like this even made it to his desk indicates how oppressive the situation in Russia has become. This is on top of last year's anti-gay law. The Kremlin is cracking down on freedom in a time of crisis.
2. This seems to be a clear shot at Pussy Riot. The Kremlin is making Pussy Riot's very existence illegal but making it punishable to even say their name in public. Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova, who met with lawmakers on Capital Hill yesterday to discuss human rights violations in Russia, said “Putin is not leading Russia to stability, but to complete instability and chaos,” according to the AP. “Silence is the most dangerous thing for a political prisoner.” Putin is proving her point.
3. Fuck censorship, fuck oppression, and fuck this law. And thank god I live in a country where I can say that.
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