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Russia Today warned over “indecent” content

Controversial Russian propaganda channel Russia Today has been issued a formal “Advisory” warning by India’s TV regulator (the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, MIB) over what it described as “several indecent shots” on the channel.

BBC Monitoring is reporting that the channel has apologised for the mistake and assured the MIB that it will be more careful and vigilant on transmissions to India.

In its report, the ministry said a warning was issued to the channel after it was noticed that in December last year it ran visuals which appeared offending against good taste and decency.

Responding to the notice, M/s Lamhas Satellite Services Limited, as the distribution partner of Russia Today, submitted that they did not intentionally or unintentionally try to vilify the portrayal of women in general and that the show was an extract of another programme purely based on abstract, experimental artistic pursuits as depicted in the clip.

It added that the channel did not aim at objectification of women in a detrimental way while also apologizing on behalf of the channel.

Lamhas also said that they had instructed the Russia Today channel to strictly abide by the Cable TV Regulation Act and it had assured to be more careful and vigilant about the content exhibited in India.

A representative of the channel also appeared before an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) which looked into the matter and admitted that it was a mistake on their part to telecast the programme.

The representative added that the programme was telecast during late hours under the impression that it would be watched by adult persons only and thus, would not be treated as a violation. However, she regretted the entire incident, the ministry order said.

Examining all aspects, the IMC felt that Russia Today appeared to be ignorant of some rules as they were referring to the “watershed hour” concept which may be there in some countries but it not a part of the Programme Code.

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