Reacting to the news that Russia’s Ministry of Justice has branded Dozhd TV, one of the last remaining independent television channels in Russia, Vazhnye Istorii, an investigative online media organization, and seven journalists as “foreign agents,” Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, said:
“These latest designations further prove that the Kremlin is unleashing its repressive “foreign agents” law against independent media and decimating unbiased reporting and investigative journalism in the country. The Russian authorities’ blatant attempt to classify independent media as “foreign agents” must end. This stifling “foreign agents” legislation must be abolished immediately.”
Kremlin is unleashing its repressive “foreign agents” law against independent media and decimating unbiased reporting and investigative journalism in the countryNatalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director
The Russian Ministry of Justice added Dozhd (TV Rain) television, Vazhnye Istorii news website (based in Latvia), and seven journalists, including Vazhnye Istorii’s editor-in-chief Roman Anin, to the list of “foreign agents.” This move will obligate these media outlets and journalists to identify themselves as “foreign agents” in their publications, including on social media, and to submit to invasive audits.
In April, Roman Anin’s flat was searched and he was interrogated for seven hours overnight under Article 137(2) of the Criminal Code (“violation of privacy”). Repression against independent journalism has deepened with searches of Proekt.Media journalists’ homes, the subsequent banning of this investigative media outlet as an “undesirable organization,” and reprisals against The Insider and its editor-in-chief Roman Dobrokhotov. Currently the “foreign agents” list includes 18 media organizations and 25 people.