* Court revokes registration over videos, including Pussy
* Cites new Kremlin-backed law that bans profanity in media
* Ruling is "most dangerous precedent" - journalists lobby
By Alexei Anishchuk
MOSCOW, Oct 31 A Moscow court on Thursday
revoked the registration of web-based news agency Rosbalt for
posting videos it said contained profane language, including a
clip by punk band Pussy Riot, in violation of a law adopted
earlier this year.
Critics say the Kremlin-backed law banning profanity in the
media is aimed at further tightening state control of news
organisations in Russia as part of a clampdown on dissent under
President Vladimir Putin.
A medium-sized agency specialising in political and general
news set up in 2000, Rosbalt earlier this year posted two videos
on its website containing foul language, the court said.
One clip featured a song by Pussy Riot, whose two members
are serving jail sentences for a profanity-laced protest against
Putin in a Moscow Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Rosbalt said that the obscene language was bleeped out and
that Russia's communications watchdog agency, Roskomnadzor, had
used clips taken from other websites in its argument that it
should be closed. Rosbalt said it would appeal.
Rosbalt's editor-in-chief has been fined 10,000 roubles
($310) twice on the same charge.
The head of the Moscow Union of Journalists, Pavel Gusev,
said the ruling set an ominous precedent.
"The authorities have given a sign of how they will act and
deal with the media, using the provisions of the current
legislation to shut the media down," he told Reuters.
"This is the most dangerous precedent in a long time in the
media and it can lead to very serious consequences."
Critics of the Kremlin say it has tightened its grip over
media since Putin, a former KGB spy, first took power in 2000.
They also say Putin has orchestrated a crackdown on critics
since returning to presidency for a third non-straight term last
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov brushed off the criticism.
"In my view it would be good for the state to apply pressure
(on media breaking the law), but... it should be within the
current legislation," he said.
($1 = 31.9400 Russian roubles)
(Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)