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Russia accuses France 24 news channel of breaking media law

Russia's state media regulator Roskomnadzor has accused France 24 news channel of violating Russian media laws, after Paris issued a warning to the French arm of Moscow's broadcaster RT

Russia accuses France 24 news channel of breaking media law
France 24 headquarters in the Paris suburbs. Photo: AFP

“As part of its control and supervision activity in the media, Roskomnadzor identified a violation of media law 19.1 by France 24 in Russia,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The law in question bans foreigners from holding more than a 20 percent stake in Russian media outlets, forcing them to be controlled by Russian legal entities.

State-owned France 24 broadcasts in English on Russian satellite packages.

“It was established that the editorial activity of the channel is under the control of a foreign legal entity, which is a violation of the 19.1 media law,” Roskomnadzor said.

The watchdog said it had sent a letter to the channel as a “reminder about the inadmissibility of violating laws of the Russian Federation.”

The letter, it added, informed the channel that a media organisation could be shut down if laws are violated.

Earlier France's broadcasting regulator issued a warning to the French arm of Russian channel RT over a news report which dubbed over the voices of Syrian civilians with words they had not said.

France's Audiovisual Council (CSA) accused the state-backed channel, which has already drawn the ire of President Emmanuel Macron, of “failures of honesty, rigour of information and diversity of points of view”.

RT, considered by the United States to be a pro-Kremlin propaganda outlet, has already faced multiple warnings from Britain's media regulator Ofcom over reports on Syria and Ukraine, where Russian forces are present.

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MEDIA

France slams Belarus’ ‘arbitrary’ crackdown on foreign media

France on Sunday condemned an "arbitrary" crackdown against the media in Belarus after the accreditation of several journalists working for foreign media was withdrawn in the wake of disputed presidential elections.

France slams Belarus' 'arbitrary' crackdown on foreign media
Belarus opposition supporters protesting against disputed presidential elections results in Minsk on August 27. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP
“The arbitrary measures taken by the Belarusian authorities against journalists violate press freedom,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.
   
“I call on the Belarusian authorities to reverse these measures without delay,” he added, saying that the crisis in Belarus requires “the establishment of an inclusive national dialogue”.
   
“Repressive measures against journalists cannot help,” he said.
   
Belarusian authorities on Saturday withdrew the accreditation of journalists working for several foreign media, including AFP, ahead of a major demonstration Sunday challenging the results of the presidential election.
   
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has faced unprecedented protests since the disputed August 9 election in which he claimed a landslide victory with 80 percent of the vote in a poll
that the opposition says was rigged.
   
 
Belarus government spokesman Anatoly Glaz said the decision to revoke the media accreditations was taken on the recommendation of the country's counter-terrorism unit.
   
He did not specify how many journalists were affected by the measure, but foreign media including the BBC, Reuters and Radio Liberty reported the withdrawal of accreditation of several of their journalists.
   
Belarusian journalists working for Agence France-Presse also had their accreditation revoked.
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