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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Clears TV Station of Extremism for 'South Park'

A Moscow court has annulled a warning issued by prosecutors in September to 2x2 television about the extremist content of its cartoons.

Moscow's Basmanny District Court ruled that the iconoclastic U.S. cartoon "South Park" does not promote religious hatred, a court spokeswoman said by telephone Monday on a customary condition of anonymity.

The June 2 ruling overturned a Sept. 8 warning by the Basmanny District prosecutor's office that said a commission of experts had determined that the South Park episode "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" was extremist in nature because it promoted "hatred between religions."

The scatological episode features Christmas carols performed by the characters and hosted by Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo.

The 2x2 channel appealed the warning in December. Prosecutors can seek to close a media outlet that receives several such warnings.

"We are happy with the court ruling," 2x2 head Roman Sarkisov said, Kommersant reported Monday.

The September warning came after several Protestant churches asked the Prosecutor General's Office in March 2008 to close the channel for "promoting numerous sins," Kommersant said.

Prosecutors in September also declared that numerous cartoons aired on 2x2, including "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," were unsuitable for children. The channel responded by pulling 118 of the episodes cited by prosecutors but continued to air the cartoons.