Russia media watchdog investigates BBC website over IS quotes

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Russia’s media regulator says it has found material on BBC websites that “broadcast the ideological attitudes of international terrorist organisations”.

Roskomnadzor highlighted quotes it found from the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The regulator said it would now review the BBC’s output for compliance with its Russian broadcast licence.

Last year, UK regulator Ofcom criticised Russian news channel RT’s coverage in Britain.

Ofcom found that Kremlin-backed RT, formerly known as Russia Today, had breached TV impartiality rules over six weeks between 17 March and 26 April.

It was especially critical of RT’s coverage of the nerve agent attack in Salisbury on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The UK government and its Western allies blamed the Russian government for the attack.

Roskomnadzor said in a statement that quotes from Baghdadi found in news reports on the BBC Russian service website were being studied to see “whether these materials comply with Russian anti-extremism legislation”.

It also said that it would be carrying out a review of the BBC’s broadcasting in Russia from 14-31 January and had requested all the necessary documentation from the corporation.

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The BBC said in December: “As everywhere else in the world, the BBC works in Russia in full compliance with the country’s laws and regulations to deliver independent news and information to its audiences.”

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