The State Duma supported the bill on deregistration of mass media for fakes

Most deputies supported the bill allowing the Prosecutor General's Office to deregister media outlets for spreading fakes. The Communists criticized the initiative for fakes” />

The State Duma supported in the first reading a bill allowing representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office to deregister publications and terminate the license for television and radio broadcasting in the event of the spread of fakes, including about the Russian military, and calls for sanctions. “For” 361 deputies voted, “against” no one voted, four abstained. During the discussion, the Communist Party faction spoke out against the initiative.

Deputy Sergei Boyarsky, who presented the bill, called the decision to develop it timely, even belated. According to him, measures against Russian media have long been used abroad, requiring retaliatory sanctions. At the same time, several parliamentarians from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation spoke with questions and criticized the initiative. So, the communist Nikolai Osadchy reminded that the media can spread a fake, not knowing that this information is unreliable. His faction colleague Aleksey Kurinny also allowed political pressure on the media and proposed to deregister them not by decision of the Prosecutor General, but in court.

The bill, introduced by a group of deputies headed by Vasily Piskarev, head of the State Duma Committee on Security, proposes introducing a new article 56.2 into law 2124-1 on the media. It also applies to Russian and foreign media working in Russia.

According to the document, the registration of mass media may be invalidated, based on the requirements of the Prosecutor General or his deputies. This can happen if a publication, radio or TV channel distributes, under the guise of reliable data, “inaccurate socially significant information”, threatening “the functioning or cessation of functioning of life support facilities, transport or social infrastructure, credit organizations, energy facilities, industry or communications, or entailing specified or other grave consequences».

Also, the Prosecutor General's Office will be able to cancel the registration of a media outlet if it disseminates, under the guise of reliable reports, false information about the use of Russian armed forces or the work of Russian government agencies abroad.

Cancellation of media registration will also be possible if the draft law is adopted, for disseminating information in an indecent form that “insults human dignity and public morality, obvious disrespect for society, the state, official state symbols of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Russian Federation or bodies exercising state power in the Russian Federation” ;.

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Sanctions can be applied, among other things, for calls to organize or participate in unauthorized actions, and for calls to impose political, economic or other sanctions against Russia, Russians, legal entities of the country.

Requirement for recognition of registration Invalid media is immediately sent to Roskomnadzor. Reprinting the above information, even if it is verbatim, is also punishable.

Appropriate restrictions are proposed to be introduced against Internet resources. If they post this information, the Prosecutor General or his deputies will be able to apply to Roskomnadzor with a request to restrict access to such sites. If the situation repeats, access to the resource may be permanently restricted.

The authors of the bill also specified that if the Russian media is banned abroad, the Prosecutor General’s Office will be able to ban the activities of foreign publications and channels, including on the Internet, as a response . All of the media decisions listed above, if the bill is passed, will be able to challenge it in court.

Earlier, commenting on the proposed bill, representatives of the Human Rights Council considered it to be contrary to the Constitution, which prohibits censorship. Such amendments are “inappropriate and harmful,” the HRC said. If the amendments are adopted, “absolutely any media can be blocked”, since it refers not only to official statements from the authorities, the HRC noted.

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