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Homeland Security

Russian deputies cautiously back anti-terrorism media proposal

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russian pro-Kremlin United Russia party deputies have cautiously backed a proposal to forbid media outlets from broadcasting statements by terrorists.

United Russia deputy Robert Shlegel proposed amending the country's mass media laws a week after twin suicide bombs ripped through the Moscow metro, killing at least 40. A subsequent statement by Chechen militant Doku Umarov claiming responsibility for the attack was given widespread media coverage.

"The fact that the largest media outlets in the country carried a statement by the terrorist Doku Umarov is unacceptable," Shlegel said. "The media should only report the elimination of terrorists."

"If Shlegel's amendments have a strong basis, I will support them. However, I can't speak for everyone," Lyubov Sliska, deputy speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, said.

United Russia first deputy head Valery Ryazansky said Shlegel's proposals should be looked into, adding that the "behavior of several journalists" was unhelpful in providing the public with "the correct picture of events."

However, media experts condemned Shlegel's plans, calling them a "PR stunt."

"Either he doesn't understand how the media works, or, what is worse, he understands and is just earning political points," Komsomolskaya Pravda editor Vladimir Sungorkin said.

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