London, Mar 4 (EFE).- The United Kingdom’s national broadcaster, the BBC, said Friday that it was suspending the work of all its journalists in Russia in response to a law that mandates up to 15 years in jail for intentionally spreading “fake” news about the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.
The Russian parliament approved the amendment to the penal code earlier Friday.
“This legislation appears to criminalize the process of independent journalism. It leaves us no other option than to temporarily suspend the work of all BBC News journalists and their support staff within the Russian Federation while we assess the full implications of this unwelcome development,” BBC Director-General Tim Davie said in a statement.
The BBC’s Russian-language news service will continue to operate outside of Russia.
“The safety of our staff is paramount and we are not prepared to expose them to the risk of criminal prosecution simply for doing their jobs,” Davie said.
Russia has restricted access to websites of the BBC and other outlets, including German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Latvia-based Meduza and Radio Liberty, which is funded by the government of the United States. EFE