The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has announced that it has suspended all reporting from the ground in Russia.
On Friday, CBC published a statement expressing concern about new legislation passed in Russia that “appears to criminalize independent reporting on the current situation in Ukraine and Russia.”
“In light of this situation and out of concern for the risk to our journalists and staff in Russia, we have temporarily suspended our reporting from the ground in Russia while we get clarity on this legislation,” CBC’s statement reads.
CBC is temporarily suspending reporting from the ground in Russia while awaiting clarity on new Russian legislation which appears to criminalize independent reporting on the current situation in Ukraine and Russia. Previous story for context: https://t.co/VS0yl9KvOS pic.twitter.com/mIa96KW4nD
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) March 4, 2022
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“Our journalists have been doing vital work to bring all elements of this story to Canadians and people around the world. We are proud of their professionalism and determination and we will continue to support their work.”
The TV and radio broadcasting said it is joining other media outlets in standing up for a free press and “unimpeded access to accurate, independent journalism in Ukraine and Russia.”
On Friday, Russian news agency TASS reported that a draft law approved by the Russian upper house of parliament allowed for the imposition of a 15-year jail term on anyone spreading “fake” information about the Russian Armed Forces.
“The criminal responsibility for spreading knowingly false information about the Russian Armed Forces applies not only to Russians but also to citizens of other countries,” the report reads.
Article 207.3 of Russian law says that public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will appear in the Criminal Code.
“This article provides imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to 1.5 million rubles. If by while committing a crime the official position was used or the actions were done for personal gain, the punishment is from five to 10 years of imprisonment or a fine up to 5 million rubles,” the article states. “If the fake information leads to grave consequences, the term of imprisonment will be from 10 to 15 years.”
Earlier today, the British Broadcasting Corporation also announced a temporary suspension of all journalistic and staff work within Russia.
BBC statement on reporting from within Russia.
Reacting to new legislation passed by the Russian authorities, BBC Director-General Tim Davie says: pic.twitter.com/uhowHW3jkr
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) March 4, 2022
“This legislation appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism,” said BBC Director-General Tim Davie in a statement.
“It leaves us no option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development.”