Prosecutor’s office investigates reposts of Aleksei Navalny’s blog

posted 6 Apr 2014, 00:39 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Apr 2014, 00:44 ]
1 April 2014

Source: (info)
The fight against reposts from the blog of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who is now under house arrest, is becoming more aggressive.

Radio station Ekho Moskvy reports that Russian content providers have started receiving warnings about breaking the law. A letter was sent out dated 21 March and signed by the deputy prosecutor of Moscow Andrei Gantsev.

In an interview with Vedomosti, he confirmed that some warnings had been sent out to certain legal entities which provide internet services but he did not go into further details.

Vedomosti got hold of the letter which had also been published on Ekho Moskvy’s website. The letter states that the appearance of certain posts on social networking sites, blogs and other media under the name of Navalny and his associates had been brought to the to the attention of the prosecutor’s office. The associates were not named.

The prosecutor stated that Basmanny regional court had banned Navalny from using the internet and that a violation of this ban could serve as grounds for an increase in the severity of his punishment. In addition, the prosecutor highlighted that the distribution of ‘banned information is in violation of the court decision which is a criminal offence.’

In an interview with Ekho Moskvy Sofia Ivanova who is PR director for the Afisha-Rambler-SUP media group, which owns LiveJournal, confirmed that they had received similar warnings.

A representative of another content provider who had also been cautioned drew attention to the fact that no specific actions were mentioned in the letter and the company lawyers are not going to play a guessing game. The company, which owns OdnoKlassniki and also has a controlling share in VKontakte, did not receive any such warnings.

In February Navalny was put under house arrest and forbidden to use the internet. However, the court’s decision does not limit the distribution of information about him by a third party. Navalny’s groups on social networking sites and also the website of the anti-corruption project RosPil is being managed by his followers, Ekho Moskvy reports.

Translated by Irina Zolotareva