BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 20:13 GMT
Russian relief as media gag withdrawn
Moscow theatre siege
The law was proposed after the Moscow theatre siege

Russian newspapers have expressed relief at a decision by President Vladimir Putin to veto a controversial new media law which would have imposed tough restrictions on the coverage of terrorist incidents.

The draft law had been rushed through both houses of the Russian parliament, following the Moscow theatre siege last month in which more than 120 hostages died.

It would have banned the publication of information deemed to hamper anti-terrorist operations.

Movsar Barayev
Rebel leader Barayev gave interviews during the siege
It would also have prevented broadcasters and newspapers from repeating comments judged to be terrorist propaganda.

Mr Putin summoned television and newspaper editors to the Kremlin late on Monday to inform them of his decision to veto it.

He told them that the law, in its current form, would not help the fight against terrorism, but it would limit people's right to receive information.

The decision has been widely welcomed in the media community.

Newspaper commentators say it shows that the president is concerned about freedom of speech, despite his patchy record on media freedoms.

News organisations had presented a united front in lobbying against the new legislation.

Mr Putin may also have come under international pressure - US President George W Bush stressed the importance of press freedom in a television interview he gave in Russia last week.

Criticism

Opponents of the law argued that it was too vague and open to wide interpretation.

However, the media community in Russia is not in the clear yet.

Mr Putin singled out one television channel for criticism, saying it had put lives at risk in order to boost its ratings.

The draft legislation will now be given to a special commission which will take note of journalists' views when drawing up amendments.


Siege reports

Key stories

Chechen conflict

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

25 Nov 02 | Europe
10 Nov 02 | Europe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes