Prosecutor Warns Social Network Against ‘Innocence’

Moscow – The St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office on Friday warned popular Russian social networking site VKontakte against the spread of an anti-Islamic film that has sparked riots across the Islamic world.

“The St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office has issued a warning about the liability for the violation of anti-extremism legislation,” the watchdog said in a statement posted on its website.

VKontakte’s press secretary Vladislav Tsyplukhin said the network will remove the trailer to the film if a court finds it to be in breach of Russian legislation.

Prosecutors in several Russian regions have asked internet service providers to block access to the Innocence of Muslims with officials in the Siberian region of Omsk temporarily blocking access to the video sharing site YouTube where the film originally appeared.

Russian Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has warned a nationwide ban may follow, under controversial new legislation due to take effect on November 1.

Search giant Google, which owns YouTube, has already blocked access to the film in several Islamic countries.

But billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who came third in Russia’s presidential election in March, said such a ban would have “catastrophic consequences for Russian society.”

The U.S.-produced amateur video, which denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, has sparked widespread protests across the Middle East and North Africa, some of which have turned violent.

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stephens and three embassy staff were killed during an attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi earlier this month.

Meanwhile, a U.S. actress who appeared in the film has sued its producer for fraud and slander, claiming the script she was given made no mention of Prophet Muhammad.

Filing her lawsuit in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Cindy Lee Garcia said she was duped into acting in the “vile and reprehensible” film which she was led to believe was a “historical Arabian Desert adventure film.”

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