MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The permanent commission for human rights in the information sphere of the Russian presidential council for civil society and human rights believes that the video hosting YouTube's decision to delete two German-language RT channels was an act of censorship.
"The permanent commission for human rights in the information sphere of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights reacted with alarm to the news of more restrictions on access to information. Such measures towards the RT DE, which in the German language segment of YouTube is in the top five most visited resources, can hardly be regarded in any way other than an act of censorship against Russian mass media," the commission's press-service said on Wednesday.
The commission supports the Russian Journalists' Union in its assessment of such actions as "having nothing to do with the main principles of freedom of information and unhampered work of journalists."
"We join the call addressed to the international human rights and journalistic organizations for expressing their attitude to such manifestations of censorship towards Russian media and the work of our colleagues," the commission says.
About the accounts deleted
RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan on Tuesday said that the video hosting YouTube had irreversibly deleted two German-language RT channels (RT DE and DFP). The Russian Foreign Ministry said that was done in a situation of obvious connivance by, if not at the request of the German side. The Foreign Ministry is going to ask Russian agencies to take proportionate retaliatory measures against YouTube and German media in Russia.
The consumer rights watchdog Roskomnadzor has sent a letter to Google, which owns YouTube, to demand that all restrictions on the RT channels be lifted and the reasons for their introduction explained. If Google refuses to unblock the accounts, it may face a fine of up to one million rubles. A second refusal may entail a 3 million-ruble fine. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday told the media the video hosting might be forced into compliance with Russian laws, if watchdog agencies found out that the platform had committed violations towards RT.