MOSCOW — A Russian parliamentary panel on Friday accused Deutsche Welle, Germany’s state-owned public broadcaster, of inciting protests in Moscow, a claim the broadcaster denies.
The committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament claimed the broadcaster encouraged the protests of election authorities’ refusal to certify some independent and opposition candidates for Moscow’s city council election this month.
The candidates’ dismissal triggered a series of opposition protests in the Russian capital over the summer, the largest show of discontent against President Vladimir Putin’s rule in seven years.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry had charged that some foreign media outlets openly incited protests, and the lower house, the State Duma, set up a special panel to look into the matter.
The panel said its inquiry found DW to be in violation of Russian law. It said it would recommend that the Foreign Ministry strip DW of its media accreditation. Committee head Vasily Piskarev said the panel would also look into the activities of other foreign-owned media.
In its response, DW said its Broadcasting Council looked into the matter and concluded the broadcaster’s reporting was “in no way objectionable.”
“The Broadcasting Council therefore rejects the accusation that DW interfered in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation,” DW said in a statement.
Broadcasting Council Chairman Karl Jüsten said that “we expect the Russian authorities to ensure that all DW correspondents in Russia can report freely and without restriction.”
The Associated Press