Moscow-Russian police have recently attacked the home of the editor-in-chief of research media, who has been designated as a “foreign agent.” This is the latest move by the authorities to put pressure on the independent media before the country’s September parliamentary elections.
Insider news site editor-in-chief Roman Dobrohotov tweeted Wednesday morning that “police are knocking” on the door of his apartment, and his wife reported an attack on the OVD-Info legal aid group before the phone became unavailable. did.
A lawyer from another legal aid group, Pravozashchita Otkrytki, headed to Dobrokhotov’s apartment. Police seized mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and Dobrokotov’s international passports during the attack, according to the group. Insider journalist Sergei Yezhov said Dubrokotov was scheduled to leave Russia on Wednesday.
Police also attacked Dubrokotov’s parents’ home, according to insiders.
Russian opposition supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists are facing increased government pressure prior to the September vote, an important part of President Vladimirputin’s governing efforts before the 2024 presidential election. Is widely regarded as.
A 68-year-old Russian leader who has been in power for more than 20 years could have been able to stay in power until 2036 by pushing for constitutional amendment last year.
In recent months, the government has designated several independent media and journalists as “foreign agents.” This means additional government scrutiny and has strong derogatory implications that can damage the credibility of the recipient.
Eligible outlets include VTimes and Meduza. Later, VTimes shut down due to the loss of advertisers, and Meduza launched a crowdfunding campaign after encountering the same issue.
Insiders were the latest addition to the list. A Latvian-registered press has worked with research group Bellingcat to investigate notable cases such as former Russian Spyselgay Slipal and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s nerve agent poisoning. ..
The Russian Ministry of Justice is under the law used to designate individuals who are foreign-funded and engaged in activities that are broadly described as political, as foreign agents. I acted.
In a comment to the media, Mr. Dobrokotov said insiders would continue to operate normally in accordance with Latvian law and would not comply with the requirements of the Foreign Agents Act.
Russia used the law to impose heavy fines on U.S.-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty for failing to identify the material as being created by a foreign agent. .. The broadcaster requested the European Court of Human Rights to intervene.
According to The Insider, a search for Dobrokhotov may be related to a slander case initiated in April following a complaint from a Dutch blogger.
Insiders accused Max van der Werff of working with Russian intelligence and military service to disseminate false information disagreeing with the results of an official investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.
Pravozashchita Otkrytki said Dobrokhotov was a witness to a criminal case against “unidentified” on suspicion of slander over tweets on Dobrokhotov’s account, including “disinformation about a downed Boeing MH17.”
Earlier this week, Russian officials blocked about 50 websites linked to imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The move is to prevent Moscow courts from looking for public office in Navalny’s political infrastructure (a network of foundations and provincial offices to combat corruption) and expose them to long prisons. A clause that occurs only one month after being outlawed as a radical to prevent.
Putin’s most fierce political enemy, Navalny, was arrested in January when he returned from Germany and recovered from a nerve gas addiction accusing Kremlin for five months. This is an accusation rejected by the Russian authorities.
In February, politicians were sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating suspended sentences from a 2014 embezzlement conviction dismissed for political motives.
His arrest and imprisonment caused a large wave of protests in Russia’s 11 time zones and appeared to be a major challenge for Kremlin. Authorities responded with a mass arrest of demonstrators and a criminal investigation into Navalny’s closest companion.
On Wednesday, Lyubov Sobol, one of Navalny’s top allies and one of the few on his team who did not leave Russia despite being charged with many charges, was told by Russia’s national communications oversight agency Rothcomnazol on Twitter. He said he requested that his account be deleted.
Sobol tweeted a screenshot of a letter received from Twitter, notifying authorities’ request to block her account for containing “promotion of activity” by Navalny’s organization, which was declared radical.
“What is it, if not the pre-election Kremlin hysteria?” Sobol wrote. It was not immediately clear if the platform would comply with the requirements.
By Daria Litvinova