Russia's media watchdog warns against 'religious caricatures'

Dissemination of religiously offensive caricatures violates Russia's laws against "extremism", says media watchdog.

Russia's media watchdog warns against 'religious caricatures'

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Russian government's media watchdog has issued a warning against the use of "caricatures with religious themes", a week after the killing of 12 people at the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo shook France.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Telecom, IT and Mass Communications (Roskomnadzor), said on its website on Friday the warning sought to be "preventative" and remind readers that religious-themed caricatures can be considered violations of Russian law.

It stated: "The distribution via media of caricatures on religious themes can be regarded by Roscomnadzor as offensive or degrading to members of religious denominations and associations, and qualified as inciting ethnic and religious hatred, which is a direct violation of the laws; "On The Media" and "On Countering Extremist Activity".

The statement listed two previous cases; one in 2006 when prosecutors and the supervisory body took steps to prevent the reprinting of cartoons of Prophet Muhammad from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

The second was in 2008 when the Russian edition of Newsweek received a reprimand for reprinting Muhammad caricatures. 

The statement ended with a request for Russian media outlets not to publish any cartoons on religious themes. 

"In connection with the above, Roscomnadzor expresses unconditional solidarity with opponents of any manifestation of extremism and terrorism, and requests that the media of the Russian Federation refrain from publishing cartoons which can be regarded as a violation of Russian law," it stated.


Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2015, 14:58
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