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Russian ‘state media’ outlet removes trailer of film equating Kashmir & Palestine, cites threats

New Delhi: Berlin-based Redfish Media has decided to remove the trailer of its controversial documentary equating the security situation in Kashmir with that in Palestine, and postpone its release, a decision attributed to “security concerns”.

The documentary, ‘Kashmir: Palestine in Making’, was initially scheduled for release on 11 February. Redfish had released a trailer for the documentary on Twitter on 4 February, drawing the ire of many social media users who posted scathing comments in replies to the post.

“In response to the security concerns of journalists and contributors involved in our documentary on Kashmir, we have taken the difficult decision to remove the trailer of this documentary and postpone its release,” read a statement from Redfish Media Tuesday, adding that some crew members received threats of violence as well as death threats.

Redfish is affiliated to Russian media company RT, which describes itself as “an autonomous, non-profit organisation that is publicly financed from the budget of the Russian Federation”.

While labels on Twitter and Facebook had claimed, respectively, that Redfish is affiliated and controlled by the Russian state, Moscow had Sunday distanced itself from the documentary. It had also reaffirmed its policy of “non-interference” on the Kashmir issue.

Redfish said Twitter and Facebook’s descriptions of the portal were “false”, and attributed them to Silicon Valley’s “campaign of censorship”.

It added that the Russian government is not involved in the outlet’s editorial decisions.

“We understood that Kashmir is a provocative topic, but were astounded to see the backlash targeted not at our work, but at a bemused Russian Embassy in New Delhi, prompting the latter to clarify in a statement that Twitter’s label has no bearing on reality, and they have nothing to do with our editorial decisions,” it said.

Also read: Russia ‘state agency’ film equates Kashmir with Palestine, Moscow goes into damage-control

‘Defamatory labels can have stark consequences’

Redfish Media has said that it is a victim of Silicon Valley’s “false” labelling of media.

“In 2020, Silicon Valley launched an overt campaign of censorship when it implemented a policy of labelling a relative handful of accounts ‘state-affiliated media’ (later tightened to ‘state-controlled’ on Facebook). Redfish, our small Berlin-based media company, was one of the first victims of this misinformation which is designed to turn audiences away from the media, which disrupt the mainstream’s grip on global public opinion,” said Redfish.

“In the past week, we have witnessed how these defamatory labels can have dangerously stark consequences,” it added.

Redfish has over 1.4 lakh followers on Twitter and 8.1 lakh followers on Facebook.

The media agency said other media outlets like Washington Post and Al Jazeera, which also “reported on the angle” of its Kashmir documentary, are not “labelled Jeff Bezos or Qatar affiliated media, despite the links to these immensely wealthy financiers”. 

It added: “If Silicon Valley would ever dare to apply these labels fairly, next time Al Jazeera reports on Kashmir, it could be seized upon as a sign that Qatar and India’s strong ties are in danger.  It may seem like an absurd conclusion to draw, but it’s a fair comparison, except that more is perceived to be at stake in the relations between Russia and India.”

(Edited by Saikat Niyogi)

Also read: As India watches Russia & China get closer, there’s a power it’s not using. Look at Lata

Source: The Print

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