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Deputy of the Duma Sergei Mitrokhin: the amendments to the law "On the Mass Media" are an instrument to be used to suppress disobedient media

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Deputy of the Duma Sergei Mitrokhin considers the adoption by the State Duma in the third reading of the amendments to the law "On the Mass Media" on November 1, 2002, represents an attempt to restrict freedom of speech. According to the new version of the law, journalist rights to report on the anti-terror operations conducted by the Russian authorities have to a large extent been curtailed.

"The amendments serve as an instrument in the fight against disobedient media rather than terrorism, stressed Mitrokhin. - Any mass media covering the topic of terrorism, including the war in Chechnya, now runs the risk of being liquidated." According to Mitrokhin, the act of terror in Moscow was used to set tougher controls over the press. "After recent events the behaviour of the press is somehow analysed much more than the actions of the law-enforcement agencies. In this hysteria Duma adopts amendments that give the state another rod to take the disobedient media to task," noted Mitrokhin.

YABLOKO considers it very important to erect a legislative barrier on the way of propaganda against terror and extremism," noted Mitrokhin. " During the second reading the faction proposed its own amendments clearly and transparently regulating the behaviour of the mass media in covering such topics without affecting creative work and the rights of the citizens to obtain reliable information. The fact that such amendments were turned down by the Duma demonstrates that the main task was to restrain the freedom of speech, rather than curtail propaganda of terrorism."

See also:
Act of Terror in Moscow

Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

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