Russia Cracks Down on Foul-Mouthed Prisoners

New rules prohibits swearing in prison
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2016 4:56 PM CST
Russia Cracks Down on Foul-Mouthed Prisoners
   (AP Photo/Alexander Agafonov, File)

Some prisoners in Russia are facing a harsh new rule: no swearing. Citing an Interfax report, the New York Times reports that “socializing with other individuals using lewd, threatening, demeaning, or slanderous expressions or slang” is now a no-no at pretrial detention centers, where detainees often live in large communal cells (up to 80 inmates) for long periods of time. The specific target of the rule is "fenya"—"the language of the camps and prisons," according to a 2002 Moscow Times report that details how the thousands-of-words-strong "bandit slang" language was developed over decades and has infiltrated everyday language in Russia. How the anti-cussing regulation will be enforced is unclear, Mashable reports.

The prison profanity ban is just the latest crackdown on unsavory speech in Russia, which, per the Times, has taken a hard right turn under President Putin. A couple of years ago, Mashable reports, a similar rule was imposed that prohibited prison guards from using fenya with one another or with inmates. And a 2014 law established fines ranging from $70 to $1,400 for people and organizations that violate an accompanying ban on foul language in films, TV broadcasts, theaters, and other media, the BBC reports. Under the law, products and productions with bad words must include warnings to consumers. (More Russia stories.)

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