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Russia Revokes News Portal's License

A Moscow court has revoked the license of a news portal for posting videos containing indecent language, including a clip of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot. Two of the band's members are currently in prison for performing an unauthorized "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin on the altar of the Russian capital's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

In handing down its decision Thursday, the Moscow City Court sided with Roskomnadzor, Russia's media regulatory agency, which had accused the Rosbalt news agency of violating media laws by posting two videos with offensive language.

Rosbalt says it bleeped out the offensive language on the two videos and eventually took them down after being warned by Roskomnadzor this past summer.

The news agency says it will appeal Thursday's court decision.

The head of the Moscow Union of Journalists, Pavel Gusev, said Thursday that court ruling sets a "very dangerous precedent."

Likewise, Reporters Without Borders said the ruling "sets an extremely dangerous precedent for freedom of information in Russia."

The Paris-based press freedom watchdog called on Russia's judicial system to overturn the decision on appeal.

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