Chechnya submits draft legislation that would ban Russian media from mentioning the nationality and religion of those involved in crimes

The Chechen parliament submitted a draft law to the State Duma that would ban the Russian press from mentioning the nationality and religion of people involved in committing crimes. The bill would also prohibit mentioning whether a criminal belongs to an indigenous group. 

The draft legislation proposes amendments to Article 4 of Russia’s Law on Mass Media (Inadmissibility of abuse of freedom of mass information). 

An explanatory note says that the amendments were put forward out of a “need to preserve interethnic and interfaith harmony and peace” in Russia. It also notes that currently, “provocative materials” appear in the media and on social networks that promote negative attitudes towards certain groups of people, and encourage the restriction of their rights or violence against them.

The Chechen parliament’s plans to prepare this draft law first became known in early November. This came after Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, condemned the media for referring to the suspects in an attack on a Moscow resident and his child as “persons of Caucasian nationality” (the suspects were reportedly from Azerbaijan). 

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