Russian Authorities in charge of mass communication and protection of cultural heritage (Rossvyazkomandzor) called to attention the need for national media to remain within legal boundaries, in light of the recent events in Dagestan when a newspaper was shut down for supposedly promoting extremist views.
Rossvyazkomandzor pointed out that it is necessary that the media conform to the Russian Federation law that dictates that it is forbidden to use "sources of mass information" to release content that contains signs of agitation over social, racial, national or religious backgrounds. If journalists fail to do so and adhere to diffusing extremist content, "steps will be taken", reported gipp.ru.
Nadira Isayeva, editor-in-chief of Dagestan's independent weekly paper Chernovik, was accused of soliciting extremist views and prejudice. The paper quoted guerilla chief Rappani Khalilov, who accused the local the regional authorities in Dagestan and Chechnya of "corruption, robbing his fellow countrymen and enslaving themselves to the Kremlin," reported the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
Robert Mahoney, CPJ's Deputy Director, said that it isn't illegal to quote guerilla leaders, mentioning that the authorities should drop the charges against Isayeva and permit her "to work "without fear of retaliation".
"There is no such law in Russia that prohibits quoting extremist leaders, and the quote--as well as the entire article--contains no calls to extremism, does not give a positive image to terrorists, nor does it incite any kind of hatred," said Aleksandr Verkhovsky, director of Sova, an independent Moscow-based watchdog for nationalism and xenophobia.