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The fine imposed on RT in Britain is a politically motivated decision – Yelena Sutormina
The Commission of the Russian Civic Chamber will submit a report about the pressure being put on the Russian media abroad to the OSCE
The Russian Civic Chamber’s Commission on the Development of Public Diplomacy, Humanitarian Cooperation and Maintenance of Traditional Values is going to submit a special report to the OSCE on the pressure being put on the Russian media in the UK and other European countries in relation to a fine imposed by the British government on the Russian television channel RT, said Chair of the commission Yelena Sutormina.
On Friday, the British media regulator Ofcom fined RT £200,000 for “serious failures to comply with our broadcasting rules.” The regulator “found that RT failed to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programs between March 17 and April 26, 2018.” Ofcom expects a full court hearing towards the end of the year.
“We will ask our colleagues from international public organizations engaged in protecting the rights of the media to react and to provide their public stance. In addition to this, on behalf of the commission we will prepare and submit a special report about the pressure being put on our media in the UK and other European countries to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir, Sutormina said.
She added that it is possible that by imposing a hefty fine on RT, Ofcom could have been showing its loyalty to the newly appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose take on Russia was quite negative when he was in charge of the Foreign Office.
“I think it is obvious that the fine which was, in fact, illegally imposed on Russia’s RT in Britain is a politically motivated decision that continues to support the intent of the British government to remove all Russian-language media from their country,” Sutormina added.
When commenting on the regulator’s decision, Rossiya Segodnya and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said that other media have received less heavy punishments even for the incitement of ethnic hatred. The largest fine imposed on a media channel for breaching impartiality rules has been £30,000: it was imposed on Islam Channel for 24 violations of broadcasting rules in a period of five weeks.
In its statement, RT expressed indignation that the British media regulator fined the channel without waiting for a court ruling that was supposed to review Ofcom’s decisions.
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