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2 Jun, 2008 21:11

Medvedev blocks attempt to control media

The job of the media in Russia might get a little easier. In a rare move, President Medvedev has recommended that the country’s parliament, the State Duma, scrap a bill that would have restricted press freedom.

The 'libel bill' was approved by the Duma on its first reading in April.

The bill on amendments to the ‘Law on Mass Media’ proposed tougher restrictions on reporting, by allowing media regulators as well as plaintiffs the right to bring libel cases.

Medvedev says the provisions would hinder the work of the mass media and is at odds with the goal of protecting the interests of citizens.

“The bill's provisions can only create obstacles to the normal functioning of the mass media and are at odds with the set goal, i.e. protecting citizens' interests against the spread of libellous information,” said Medvedev. “Therefore, it seems to be expedient to withdraw the draft law from further consideration,” concludes the President’s statement.