FILE - Protesters attend a rally in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.
FILE - Protesters attend a rally in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

MOSCOW - Russian officials will be able to fine protest organizers if young people take part in their demonstrations, under a bill signed off by lawmakers in parliament's lower house on Tuesday.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose anti-corruption activism has attracted a youthful following, said on Twitter the law was proposed "specifically for me".

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny awaits his hearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, Nov.15, 2018. Russia is awaiting the European court ruling on whether it violated the rights of Navalny when arresting him on rep
Did Russia Violate Navalny’s Rights? European Court to Rule
Russia is awaiting a European court ruling on whether it violated the rights of opposition leader Alexei Navalny when arresting him on repeated occasions. A leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Navalny is to appear at the European Court of Human Rights in the French city of Strasbourg to hear the ruling Thursday, after a last-minute legal problem delayed his arrival. The court ruled last year that seven of his arrests were unlawful and ordered Russia to pay 63,000 euros ($67,000) in…

Anyone who arranges an unsanctioned protest in which under-18s take part will face a fine of up to 50,000 ($750) rubles or up to 15 days in jail, according to the parliament's website.

Repeat offenders can be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($4,500) or be imprisoned for a month, under the bill which is all but certain to be approved by the upper house of parliament and President Vladimir Putin.

Navalny's anti-Kremlin protests in recent years have seen thousands take to the streets, including many minors.

Last year authorities claimed that young people had been lured to demonstrations with promises of financial rewards.

Navalny, a 42-year-old Yale-educated lawyer, has himself been repeatedly jailed for calling unsanctioned protests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 3, 2018.
Putin Defends Jailing of 77-Year-old Activist
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday defended the jailing of an elderly rights activist over calls to protest, stressing he wants to prevent events like France's "yellow vest" revolt. The Russian leader was responding to an appeal to free 77-year-old Sergei Ponomaryov, a prominent rights activist who is serving 16 days in police cells for urging people to take part in an unauthorized rally. As a result, Ponomaryov was unable to attend the funeral Tuesday of a longtime comrade, veteran rights…

Lev Ponomaryov, a 77-year-old rights activist, was this month jailed for 16 days after calling for protests against a growing crackdown on youngsters.

Authorities have charged young people with "extremism" for sharing humorous memes online and have cancelled rap concerts, in a move some have compared to the Soviet blacklisting of rock musicians.