BBC websites convey terrorist ideas, says Russia media watchdog
Moscow, Jan 15: The tense rivalry between Russia and UK is not unknown by now. The relation between the two took a nosedive over the Skripals case last year and led to a major diplomatic crisis. That the tension has not diminished yet became evident on last week when Russia's media watchdog brought a serious accusation against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Britain's public service broadcaster, saying some content of the latter's websites conveyed terrorist ideas, Russia-based TASS News Agency reported.
In a statement, the watchdog said an investigation is under way to see whether the features on the BBC's website are consistent with the Kremlin's counter-terrorism laws. "Features conveying the ideas of international terrorist organizations have been exposed (quotes from terrorist al-Baghdadi [the leader of the Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia - TASS]). A probe is underway to figure out whether these features are consistent with Russia's counter-extremism legislation," it read.
The watchdog also said that BBC's websites, including the one in Russian, are monitored regularly to see whether there is any violation of Russian laws.
"The watchdog went on to say that on January 14-31, a probe into the British Television LLP, which transmits the programs of the BBC World News TV channel in Russia, would be conducted to find out if it abided by licensing and other mandatory requirements for TV and radio broadcasting," the TASS report added.
On January 9, the company was asked to provide documents supporting its conforming with the Russian law that limits direct and indirect control of Russian media outlets by foreign firms. January 16 was the last date of submission of the documents.
It is a tit for tat case. In December, the watchdog revealed probes into the BBC's websites and the BBC World News in Russia TV channel to see whether the content they produce conform to the Russian laws. The development occurred after the UK's media regulator Ofcom had accused Russia's RT TV channel of breaching rules of impartiality.