Russian Media Denied Chance to Defend Themselves Against EU Accusations – IFJ

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The European Parliament denied Russian media a fair chance to defend themselves against accusations of spreading propaganda, which is against freedom of expression, the head of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said Thursday.

Sputnik - Sputnik International
EU Resolution on Sputnik, RT: 'Media Siege Formulated by the United States'
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Parliament voted on a resolution on Wednesday that compared Russian media to Daesh propaganda. As many as 304 voted in favor the document, 179 voted against and 208 abstained. With a total of 691 officials taking part in the vote, less than half supported the resolution.

"In my opinion, those media should have been given a chance to defend themselves in front of the European Parliament against such an accusation, it seems that opportunity wasn't offered to them," IFJ President Philippe Leruth wrote in a reply to Sputnik news agency’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.

"European Parliament as well as the International and the European Federation of Journalists [is] attached to freedom of expression: freedom of expression is based on the principle that facts are sacred and the comment is free. Even though the comment may not please us, this principle should always prevail," the letter continued.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move demonstrated "degradation" of how the West perceived democracy. He praised the news agency Sputnik and the international broadcaster RT for their work, saying he hoped the resolution would not entail any curbs on Russian news outlets.

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