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Moscow prosecutors say South Park cartoons could incite hatred -2

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MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Prosecutor General's Office believes the popular animated TV show South Park could incite religious hatred, its press service said on Monday.

"It offends the honor and dignity of Christians and Muslims alike, and affronts believers, regardless of their faith," the statement said, adding that the cartoon "could provoke ethnic conflict and spark inter-religious hatred."

The Russian Union of Evangelical Christians said last Thursday that it had requested that Russian prosecutors open a criminal investigation into a TV channel that broadcasts the popular South Park cartoons containing "covert and overt propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia as norms of sexual life."

The Prosecutor's Office has referred the case to court and has also issued a warning to the 2x2 TV Channel company that airs the show and to Rossvyazkomnadzor, Russia's media watchdog.

Prosecutors said by showing such cartoons like The Simpsons, Stewie Griffin, Metalocalypse, Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl the channel is promoting "violence, brutality and pornography," as well as suicide and antisocial behavior.

"The content of these cartoons fails to comply with laws protecting the moral and psychological development of children and their health," the statement said adding that the cartoon breached international law and the rights of children.

The Russian adult-oriented cartoon network TV channel faced similar accusations in March 2008, when Russian Protestant leaders submitted a request to the Prosecutor General's Office asking for the channel's license to be revoked, saying it "promotes immorality and violence."

In February 2008, Rossvyazokhrankultura, a regulatory body for television in Russia, issued warnings to the channel about the 'Happy Tree Friends' and 'The Adventures of Big Jeff' cartoon series, recommending that they remove them from the air to avoid legal issues.

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