By Matthew MorserThe U.S. State Department’s human rights office has condemned Russia’s government for banning the film “Innocence of Muslims” as well as a number of other films, including a British film “Pray for Israel” and a U.K. film “The Killing Fields,” in what it called a “flagrant and egregious violation of freedom of expression.”
In a statement Friday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Russia’s “decisions to deny the release of these films are a flagrant and blatant violation of the fundamental principles of free expression.”
She said the U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief “has raised serious concerns about the effect of restrictions on the freedom of assembly and expression, and he has called on Russia to stop these actions immediately.”
In her statement, Nauert also called on Russian authorities to ensure the “promotion of freedom, respect and tolerance of all people,” including minorities.
She noted that “freedom of expression and religion are fundamental human rights in Russia.”The U