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Russia: Constitutional Court Eliminates Restrictions On Election Coverage

Moscow, 30 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's top court today struck down restrictions placed on media covering election campaigns. The decision is seen as a victory for free speech, and comes just five weeks before a parliamentary vote.

Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that election-law amendments adopted earlier this year are unconstitutional because they could be "broadly interpreted" and therefore applied arbitrarily.

The amendments, which came into effect this summer, forbade journalists from "electioneering," which the law defined as taking positions on candidates and parties, or reporting on their policies.

The court today said that the law could lead to violations of freedom of speech.