Publication of cartoons on religious issues may be classed of violation of law

Roskomnadzor may class the publication of cartoons on religious issues in the media as a violation of the law.

"The dissemination in the media of cartoons on religious issues can be regarded by Roskomnadzor as insulting or belittling the dignity of people belonging to religious groups and associations and can be classed as the fanning of ethnic and religious feud, which is a direct violation of the laws On the Mass Media and On the Prevention of Extremist Activities," the agency said in a report posted on its website on Friday.

The report states that the said position and law enforcement practice has been approved by experts and industry communities. "The position of public bodies, including supervisory bodies in the sphere of the mass media, on cartoons on religious issues has always been definite and consistent," the report says.

The report says that the publication in the Russian media of such cartoons contradicts ethnic and moral norms developed in the centuries in which people of different ethnicities and religions lived on one territory.

Roskomnadzor recalled that prosecutors and supervisory bodies in 2006 prevented the publication of the cartoons earlier published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. According to the agency, the editorial office of the Moscow magazine Newsweek was issued an official warning for publishing a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad in 2008.

For these reasons, Roskomnadzor, while expressing unconditional solidarity with the opponents of any manifestations of extremism and terrorism, is asking the Russian media to refrain from publishing cartoons that can be regarded as a violation of the Russian legislation.

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