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Deutsche Welle displays attributes of justifying extremism — Russian lawmaker

MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/. The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs has confirmed that the Deutsche Welle media outlet violated Russian law, head of the commission Vasily Piskarev stated on Friday.

"Today, the commission has finished its inquiry regarding Deutsche Welle. Earlier, we said that we have certain information, which was unfortunately confirmed. While acting on the territory of Russia, Deutsche Welle has violated laws, many laws. Today, we decided that the designated bodies must provide a response to these violations," the lawmaker said.

The commission has ruled that the Deutsche Welle media outlet has displayed attributes of justifying extremism.

"We have detected attributes of justifying extremism in the actions of reporters and the media outlet itself," the Russian lawmaker said. He provided the case of blogger Vladislav Sinitsa sentenced under Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code (Incitement of hatred and humiliation of human dignity) as an example. "Sinitsa urged to kidnap and kill the children of law enforcement officers," Piskarev said. "This horrifying cynical statement has been deemed extremism by law enforcement bodies, and he was charged under Article 282 of the Criminal Code," the politician reminded. "The sentence is in force, we all think that he is a criminal, an extremist <…> however, Deutsche Welle thinks that he is not an extremist, but a regular member of the opposition," the lawmaker said.

"However, we think that if an opposition member commits a crime - and this is definitely a crime - then he is not an opposition member, but a criminal," the commission head noted. "This confirms the attributes of justifying extremism, and not just this. Here, we have all facts confirming that Deutsche Welle has violated the law," he confirmed, showing the reporters several folders with documents.

The commission has also found out that Deutsche Welle has all the signs of a foreign agent.

"We believe that Deutsche Welle has all the signs of a foreign agent. They conducted and are conducting political activity financed from Germany’s budget," Piskarev said.

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

The commission will send the results of its inquiry into Deutsche Welle to the Russian Foreign Ministry in order for it to consider the media outlet’s accreditation in Russia.

"We plan to send the materials we have gathered to the Russian Foreign Ministry in order for them to consider the question of prolonging the accreditation of Deutsche Welle," the Russian lawmaker said.

The Russian State Duma Commission on Foreign Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs began its work in August after reports of unlawful actions by several foreign diplomats and media outlets in the course of unsanctioned protests that took place in the run-up to the Moscow State Duma election.