Court orders General Prosecutor's Office to explain why Navalny's site was blocked

posted 17 Feb 2015, 12:44 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Feb 2015, 12:49 ]
12 February 2015

Source: (info
On 12 February, 2015, Tagansky district court in Moscow ordered the General Prosecutor's Office to supply the information that had led Roskomnadzor to block the website of opposition figure Aleksei Navalny. As a result, the hearing has been postponed until 18 February, reports

Roskomnadzor had found that Navalny's website contained alleged calls for mass riots and extremist activity. The site had not worked for several days, but then started to work again when a message about a rally in St. Petersburg was deleted.

According to the claimant, this delay was connected to the fact that Roskomnadzor had taken a long time to reveal which specific post it had been that prompted the complaint. The agency was of the opinion that the message promoted unsanctioned mass rallies, whereas Navalny stated that it was actually just cancelling the reported action.

A representative of Navalny at the hearing noted that the ruling by Roskomnadzor was accompanied by a host of violations.

Moreover, although Roskomnadzor only took issue with one post, the entire site was blocked.

Navalny attended the hearing and stated that Roskomnadzor constantly blocks all of his websites "for reasons of political censorship".

"I run the most visited socio-political blog in the country. Whenever Roskomnadzor gets a chance to block me, it does so," said Aleksei Navalny.

A spokesperson from the Prosecutor General's Office said that the agency's warning had included reference to a different website and a Facebook page, and that Roskomnadzor had blocked Navalny's blog on the basis of this warning, since it had contained the same information about a forthcoming protest.

The website was blocked on 13 January, 2015. Such measures had previously only been applied to individual webpages of the site.

Translated by Lindsay Munford