Moscow's lawmakers have set their minds to fight xenophobia by banning the media from mentioning the nationality, race and religion of criminals.
The measure, intended to tackle the level of hate-crime in the city, is designed to prevent generalizations about certain groups in society. For example, talking about a crime committed by a person from Dagestan, Russian journalists will not be allowed to say “Dagestani” or “coming from North Caucasus,” but they would rather refer to a “person born in Dagestan.”
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The difference may seem small, but the authors of the idea say that a more precise formulation will matter a lot.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Moscow City Duma Deputy Aleksandr Semennikov, said that generalizations spark extremism in society.
“This kind of information often causes a stir in public opinion, especially among people that aren’t very tolerant or aware of the consequences of their actions. There are groups that will call for revenge,” Semennikov told RT.
The problem is not new: questions about the negative influence of the media have been raised repeatedly. During the latest election campaign, some parties raised the idea of introducing similar measures. However, this is the first time that an official bill was submitted. Initiated by Moscow’s Duma, it will now be passed on to federal authorities.
Source: RT (English)