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Russia radio regulators block 60 stations from broadcasting US-funded programs

[JURIST] Russian radio regulators have enjoined 60 radio stations from broadcasting material produced by Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty [media websites], citing violations of licensing laws. Re-broadcast licenses were stripped from the 60 stations because, according to regulators, the stations failed to indicate that they intended to re-broadcast segments produced by the two US-funded but independent news sources. However, sources from VOA and Radio Liberty suggested that recent controversial broadcasts, including an interview, produced by Radio Liberty and broadcast on ABC's Nightline program, of a Chechen warlord involved with the 2004 Beslan school siege [BBC backgrounder], enraged Moscow, sparking to the licensing decision.

Russia's media Law on Communications [text] provides that radio may only be broadcast from state-controlled towers, giving the Russian government wide-reaching control over broadcast content. VOA and Radio Liberty news programs, which are recorded in Russian, are now carried by five and four Russian radio stations, respectively. The Washington Post has more.

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