A bill calling for harsher punishments on those who attack journalists has been submitted to the lower house of the Russian parliament, according to reports from the country.

The proposal follows two violent attacks on journalists in Moscow earlier this month. Newspaper journalist Oleg Kashin needed to be put into an induced coma after being beaten outside his home and Anatoly Adamchuk, was attacked just two days later in the city.

According to a report by Russian news agency RIA Navosti, the bill proposes a sentence of six to 15 years for those who commit offences "that endanger the lives of journalists".

"It also extends sentences for those who commit minor offences from two to five years," the report says.

Russia was recently placed 140 out of 178 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2010 World Press Freedom Index.

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