Russia accuses BBC of airing IS propaganda

Russia accuses BBC of airing IS propaganda
2 min read
11 January, 2019
Russia has accused the BBC of broadcasting propaganda from IS.
Baghdadi is the leader of IS [screenshot]

Russia has accused the BBC of spreading "terrorist ideologies" via its Russian-language service, in the latest row between Moscow and London.

It follows the BBC's use of quotes of Islamic State group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, among others, in news pieces by the British broadcaster.

"Currently we have discovered materials which transmit the ideologies of international terrorist groups (quotes of terrorist al-Baghdadi)" on the BBC's Russian-language website, the state's press watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said in a statement on Thursday.

It added that it would investigate whether the BBC had broken the law.

Russian law does not forbid quoting "terrorists", however, when mentioned a disclaimer must be included noting that such groups are banned in Russia

Roskomnadzor did not give any examples or dates of such alleged infractions of this law in its statement.

Relations between Russia and the UK have hit a no low point, after the use of a nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

The UK has accused Moscow of carrying out the attack, which left one woman dead.

Roskomnadzor has also requested documents from the BBC's Russian services to see if it had broken a new law limiting foreign ownership of Russian media.

The service is currently limited to the internet, but it has expanded in recent years and has many top reporters on the team dealing with often sensitive political subjects.

Britain's Ofcom said in December it had found violations of impartiality rules in seven of RT's shows broadcast after the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Moscow said at the time that any proceedings against the BBC were a "mirror measure" for Britain's "constant propaganda against RT", a state-owned channel.