New York, Mar 4 (EFE).- CNN and Bloomberg News joined the BBC Friday in suspending operations 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.
“CNN will stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward,” the network said in a statement.
The Russian parliament approved the amendment to the penal code early Friday.
“We have with great regret decided to temporarily suspend our news gathering inside Russia,” Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said.
“The change to the criminal code, which seems designed to turn any independent reporter into a criminal purely by association, makes it impossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country,” he said.
The United Kingdom’s national broadcaster, the BBC, was the first major Western news organization to suspend work in Russia following passage of the new law.
“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 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,” he 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 jfu-int-mp/dr