(JTA) – Russian lawmakers approved a bill that would make Holocaust denial illegal.
The lower house of the Russian Parliament, or Duma, passed the measure Friday on its first reading, the Voice of Russia reported Monday, making it illegal to deny the verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal and punishing the “rehabilitation of Nazism.”
Those found guilty of the crime could be fined up to $8,300 or imprisoned up to three years. Public officials or media personalities would be fined nearly double or face up to five years in prison.
The bill also needs the approval of the Federation Council, or upper house. It was authored five years ago and resubmitted in February.
“Rehabilitation of Nazism is not only a shot fired at the past and mocking millions of victims,” the head of the Lower House Committee for Security, Irina Yarovaya, a main sponsor of the bill, said in parliament. “It is also a shot fired at the future, an instigation for new crimes against peace and security.”