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Deutsche Welle could be labeled foreign agent in Russia for calls to participate in Moscow protests

Deutsche Welle could be labeled foreign agent in Russia for calls to participate in Moscow protests
Russia’s parliament says there is sufficient evidence to label Deutsche Welle as a foreign agent, after concluding that the outlet published extremist materials. The German state broadcaster now risks losing its accreditation.

An investigation, carried out by the State Duma, found that the outlet had urged Russians to participate in unsanctioned street marches during the summer, without attributing the directive to anti-government activists or other sources.

A linguist who testified before the Commission for Investigating Intervention in the Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation said that Deutsche Welle used the imperative mood in a headline, essentially ordering Russians to take the streets.

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“We believe that Deutsche Welle has all the signs of being a foreign agent. They conducted and are conducting political activity, financed from Germany’s budget,” Duma deputy Vasily Piskarev, who helped carry out the investigation, said.

“Therefore, in our view, this is the activity of a foreign agent,” he added.

The commission will forward its findings to the Russian Foreign Ministry, which will decide if the German outlet can continue to work in the country.

The Duma also plans to carry out similar investigations into the BBC and US-funded Radio Liberty.

Deutsche Welle has rejected the allegations by the State Duma of interference, insisting that its reporting on the protests in Russia was “in no way objectionable.”

The German broadcaster said it expects its staff to be able to “work unhindered” in the country in the future.

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