Russian Authorities Move to Ban Open Russia Online Resources

December 11, 2017

The independent Russian-language media outlet openrussia.org has just been officially banned on Russian Federation territory.  The Russian Attorney General’s office issued a demand to the Russian media watchdog (Roskomnadzor) to officially block the website due to supposed links to a foreign ‘undesirable organisation.’

The US-based think tank The Institute of Modern Russia has also been blocked under the same pretext.  Other websites to fall under the ban so far are: Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s personal website, Open Russia’s human rights resources and Open University.

The official reason for the move is said to be spreading information “calling for mass unrest, extremist activity, participation in mass public demonstrations and dissemination of information material belonging to organisations officially recognised as undesirable in the Russian Federation.”

In November the Russian parliament passed a law that allowed the Attorney General to immediately block websites that contain materials belonging to so-called ‘undesirable organisations’.

The list of such organisations has grown significantly in recent months, and the law is a serious threat to freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Russia.

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