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Moscow Court Closes Internet News Agency Rosbalt

The Russian news agency Rosbalt's offices in Moscow (file photo)
A Moscow court has ordered the closure of the news website closed for posting videos that it said contained profane language.

The court said Rosbalt's website posed two videos with foul language, one of them from the performance-art group Pussy Riot.

Rosbalt representatives argued in court that the offending words were bleeped out and that other Russian and foreign websites, including YouTube, contain material with profanities and are allowed to operate.

A law that came into effect in April introduces fines of up to 200,000 rubles ($6,000) for media outlets that use obscene language.

The general director of the Rosbalt news agency Natalya Afonina called the court decision an "encroachment on freedom of the media" and said she will appeal the court ruling.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Reuters