Russia fine for protesters may surpass nuke crimes

Russian police detain protesters outside the parliament building in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. At least two dozen people have been detained outside Russian Parliament in Moscow as they were protesting against a bill on public rallies. The Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament is expected to pass a legislation on Tuesday that would raise fines 200-fold for taking part in unsanctioned rallies. Opposition leaders say that the law would also exacerbate tensions in the Russian society and leave the public with no free leeway of expressing their discontent.  (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
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Russian police detain protesters outside the parliament building in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. At least two dozen people have been detained outside Russian Parliament in Moscow as they were protesting against a bill on public rallies. The Kremlin-controlled Russian parliament is expected to pass a legislation on Tuesday that would raise fines 200-fold for taking part in unsanctioned rallies. Opposition leaders say that the law would also exacerbate tensions in the Russian society and leave the public with no free leeway of expressing their discontent. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's lower house of parliament approved a bill Tuesday that would raise the fine for participating in an unauthorized protest 150-fold.

If, as expected, the bill becomes law, protesters whose rallies aren't officially sanctioned will face fines of up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000), up from the current 2,000 ($60).

The potential punishment is far more severe than for many other crimes.

A sampling of other offenses and their maximum penalties under Russian law:

— Prostitution: A fine of 2,500 rubles ($75).

— Illegal use of an automobile: 120,000 rubles ($3,600).

— Nuclear materials storage violations: 5,000 rubles ($150) for regular citizens, 40,000 ($1,200) for public officials.

— Performing an abortion without medical qualification: 80,000 rubles ($2,400).

— Violating safety precautions in designing, building and using nuclear energy facilities that could cause danger or radioactive contagion: 200,000 rubles ($6,000).

— Organizing prostitution: 500,000 rubles ($15,000) or three years in prison.