Sova Centre on the blocking of blogs and website pages

posted 29 Dec 2014, 04:36 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Dec 2014, 04:42 ]
24 December 2014

Source: (info
On 19 December 2014 Roskomnadzor blocked 14 entries in blogs and pages on various websites and forums that contained information about the ‘people’s gathering’ in support of the Navalny brothers, currently on trial. On 21-23 December these Internet resources were entered into the register of sites banned under the so-called ‘Lugovoi law’.

In addition, the website with a fragment of a song by the group ‘Kombinatsiya’ announcing the planned event was also blocked.

Under the ‘Lugovoi law’ the Prosecutor General’s Office, once it receives information about the existence of pages on the Internet that "contain calls to mass disorder, extremism” or simply “participation in mass public events conducted in violation of the established procedures” can oblige Roskomnadzor to immediately require the removal or blocking of this information.

During the time this law, signed at the end of 2013, has been in force, items blocked include announcements about marches in support of the federalization of Siberia and Kuban, as well as the websites, and Ezhednevnyi zhurnal on the grounds that they contained information about events that had already taken place!

Experts from Sova Centre have commented on the blocking of entries in blogs and pages on various websites and forums that contain information about the ‘people’s gathering’ in support on Navalny:

"From our point of view, the provisions of the ‘Lugovoi law’ that allow for the blocking of information about events that do not have official sanction are unlawful, since the fact that an event has not been permitted does not give grounds to ban publication of information about it.

This is a clear violation of the right to freedom of speech.

All the more so, since this is a requirement to block information about events in relation to which the authorities have not taken any decision.

On 20 December 2014 Facebook closed access for Russian users to the group announcing a people’s gathering in support of the Navalny brothers.

According to some sources, representatives of Facebook and Twitter are now saying that these social networks in the given instance will not fulfill the demands of the Russian authorities, despite the risk that as a result they may be blocked in Russia."