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Russia plans new law to protect journalists

'Reporters Without Borders' says Russia is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists

Russia is planning to introduce a new bill, which envisions tougher punishments for attacks on reporters and journalists in the State Duma lower house.

Boris Reznik, the deputy chair of the Duma Committee on media, said the bill will be tabled in the Russian parliament

He told the reporters that a new law is necessary to curb attacks on journalists in the country. "In recent years, attacks on journalists have become more and more frequent, although their work is socially important," Reznik added.

The decision to table a bill is said to be in response to the attack on an investigative journalist of the leading business daily Kommersant, Oleg Kashin, on 6 November.

The bill will be in the form of amendments to the criminal penal code, and it will ensure a sentence of 20 years to life for serious attacks against journalists, and 12-20 years in jail for milder attacks.

International rights organisations, such as 'Reporters Without Borders' view Russia as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.