Innocence of Muslims ban in Russia will negatively impact freedom of speech

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mjatovic believes the ban on the film Innocence of Muslims in Russia will have a generally negative effect on freedom of speech. Mjatovic told a press conference in the Interfax central office on Wednesday that the issue of the film is highly controversial and politicized and nothing can be resolved merely by banning things, which is why there is a need to increase general tolerance in society and increase Internet and media awareness in general.

Mjatovic also said citizens should demand that the government take much more measures to call on citizens not to practice violence and cruelty, which are absolutely unacceptable in this situation. She said she believes any bans or restrictions always have negative consequences for freedom of expression.

Commenting on the ban on the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in the Rostov region, Mjatovic called the ban "incorrect and inappropriate."

Mjatovic said bans and restrictions have considerable effect on freedom of expression and freedom of the media and the ISCE will continue to closely follow the developments in this sphere.

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