22 Nov 2021 10:24

Bill prohibiting media from indicating nationality of criminals submitted to State Duma

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) - The Chechen parliament has submitted to the State Duma a bill that prohibits Russian media outlets from indicating the nationality, religion, or ethnicity of criminals in their reports.

The bill amends Article 4 of the Russian Law on Mass Media. If the bill is adopted, the new Part 10 of Article 4 will say that neither the mass media nor materials published "on information and communications networks" will be allowed to disclose where a suspect is from.

Chechen deputies say that the bill is aimed at keeping interethnic and interreligious peace and accord in Russian territory.

"Dissemination of such information is viewed as an insult to the ethnic and religious sentiments of honest, bona fide citizens and true believers who have nothing to do with criminal activity," the bill's explanatory note says.

"Any poorly considered, carelessly uttered word could serve as the detonator for a social explosion and spark interethnic and interreligious hatred in Russia," the note says.

The Chechen parliament said in its explanatory note that provocative reports posted on social media "form a negative attitude" toward ethnic and religious groups and individuals and propose that the rights of those groups be restricted or that violence be committed against them.

Deputy chief of staff of the Russian presidential administration Magomedsalam Magomedov said on November 19 that the media should pay attention to the problem of indicating the nationality of persons who commit crimes in Russia. Magomedov believes that any mention of such things should probably be penalized.