EU criticizes Russian law easing domestic violence penalties

March 01, 2017 - 2:40 pm

BRUSSELS (AP) — A senior European Union official is criticizing new Russian legislation decriminalizing some forms of domestic violence and urging Moscow to reverse it.

In January, Russia's parliament gave final approval to the bill eliminating criminal liability for battery on family members that doesn't cause bodily harm, making it punishable instead by a fine or a 15-day arrest.

The EU's commissioner for justice and gender equality, Vera Jourova, told the European Parliament on Wednesday that "Russia's recent actions send the wrong message about the country's commitment to tackling violence against women and children." She said they also go against its responsibilities as a member of international organizations.

Jourova is renewing an EU call for Russia to reverse the new law. She says "there can be no excuse for domestic violence."

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