Interior minister proposes to control interests of young people

MOSCOW, August 4 (Itar-Tass) — At a meeting of the interdepartmental commission on combating extremism in Russia on Wednesday, RF Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said his ministry has prepared an amendment to the law on mass media, strengthening control over the activities of some Internet resources. In addition, the minister has proposed to tighten control over the interests of young people in music, films and literature.

“There are about 7,000 extremist websites and 10 major religious sects working in Russia alone,” Rossiiskaya Gazeta quotes Nurgaliyev. “Here it is important to observe a balance between freedom and law enforcement. We have already introduced amendments to the federal law on mass media, so from now on in some cases websites will fall into the category of mass media.”

The minister spoke about 7,500 websites, which, in his opinion, are disseminating extremism, Nezavisimaya Gazeta emphasises. “In addition to distribution at some websites of openly extremist information, there are also incorrect, and sometimes openly hostile statements posted there, which is a manifestation of intolerance towards other nationalities living in our country.”

In order to remedy the situation, Nurgaliyev said, it is necessary to develop a set of measures that would restrict the activities of such resources. In his view, control over what kind of music young people listen can also help in combating extremism.

Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva, quoted by the publication, described this initiative of Nurgaliyev as absurd. She is confident that these matters are no concern of security agencies. Because they have their own field of activity: for example, to keep track of extremist statements and identify concrete individuals whose activities threaten the public: “Folk music does not solve the problem of extremism. During the 1930s, repressions took place against the backdrop of extraordinarily moving films, melodramas heroic epics and lyrical comedies. In the meantime, citizens of our country were being killed in the dungeons of the NKVD. And those who signed the death lists in the evening went to the movies with the family and were touched to tears by the play of their favourite actors.”

Managing partner of the College of Lawyers of Media Fyodor Kravchenko told the Novye Izvestiya newspaper that it has never been a problem to recognize any website a mass medium. “The Media Law without any reservations allows it. Although the text was written in 1990, the law stipulates dissemination of mass information in telecommunication networks can also be regarded as mass media,” Kravchenko said. So, the interior minister’s new initiative can be considered as a well-forgotten old song or a book he has not read.

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