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Russian Media Warned Not To Publish Cartoons On Religious Themes

  • RFE/RL

A political cartoons exhibition in Moscowin October, 2014.

A political cartoons exhibition in Moscowin October, 2014.

Russian state media watchdog Roskomnadzor has warned national media against publishing caricatures on religious topics.

The agency said on January 16 that such images may violate Russian media laws aimed at countering "extremist activities" if they are "offensive and humiliating" to followers of different faiths and incite "ethnic and religious discord."

Roskomnadzor expressed its "solidarity with opponents of any expressions of extremism and terrorism" and urged Russian media "to refrain from publications of caricatures" that might violate Russian laws.

The agency warned Russian media on January 13 against "fanning sectarian tensions in Russian society" by republishing cartoons by the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo that depict the Prophet Muhammad.

It encouraged Russian media to use "other forms of solidarity" with the victims of last week’s deadly attack by Islamist extremists on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris.