04:41 GMT +321 September 2017
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    FBI Investigation Into Sputnik Indicates Serious Censorship Problems - Kremlin

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    The FBI has questioned a former Sputnik employee as part of a probe into the news agency's activities. The Kremlin has commented on the move.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the FBI probe into Sputnik indicates serious censorship problems in the United States, describing the action as a move contradicting pluralism and freedom of the press.

    "We do not have detailed information, but in any case, interrogations of journalists or ex-journalists in connection with journalistic activities certainly do not speak in favor of pluralism of opinion and freedom of the press. They rather speak about serious problems with censorship and limiting the work of the press," Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that the Kremlin is concerned.

    Moreover, Peskov noted that the work of foreign correspondents in Russia is not restricted.

    "No censorship is allowed [in Russia], prosecution over content is not allowed, and, moreover, foreign media have absolutely equal rights with our domestic media," he emphasized.

    Earlier it was reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned former Sputnik employee Andrew Feinberg as part of the investigation of reports that the agency allegedly acted as a Russian propaganda agency in violation of the US Foreign Agents Act (FARA). At the same time, the portal claimed that the FBI also received access to Sputnik's working correspondence of Feinberg and another former employee of the agency's Washington bureau, Joseph John Fionda.

    Earlier, a bill was submitted to the House of Representatives of the US Congress to amend requirements for registration of foreign agents under the FARA. The project involves the allocation of additional powers to the US Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, to identify and prosecute organizations that "illegally" try to influence the political processes in the United States.

    The FBI itself did not respond to the official inquiry on whether it conducted an investigation against the agency within two days, Mindia Gavasheli, editor-in-chief of the Sputnik Bureau in Washington DC, said.

    Sputnik and RT Edito-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan slammed the FBI interrogation of Sputnik's ex-employee and said that Russia will respond if an investigation is launched.

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    Tags:
    investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Sputnik, Dmitry Peskov, Russia, United States
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