Access to online media being blocked in Crimea

Дата: 03 October 2015
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The Russian Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications has limited access to the website of the news agency “Center for Investigative Journalism” and the website “Events of Crimea” at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia.

In the letters sent to the editors offices of these media, the Russian Federal Supervision Agency reports that the information posted on these websites allegedly “contains calls to riots, extremist activities or participation in mass (public) activities carried out in violation of the established order.”

In case of the Center for Investigative Journalism, the Agency describes its article “Volunteers of the ‘Crimea’ Battalion” as the material containing such calls.

The authors of the article urge the citizens of the Republic of Crimea to support the fighters of the armed Battalion “Crimea”, the goal of which is to return the territory of the Republic of Crimea to Ukraine by force. The text contains the calls to the beginning of activities aimed at the return of Crimea to Ukraine, including specific actions,” reads the letter.

This decision caused imposition of sanctions on the Crimean online media.

As a reminder, the Russian Security Service (FSB) initiated the criminal proceedings under Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia over the publication of the article “Volunteers of the ‘Crimea’ Battalion” by the Center for Investigative Journalism. The author of the article, Anna Andriyevska, is a suspect in the case.

March 13, 2015, the FSB employees made searches in the apartments of parents of journalists Anna Andriyevska and Natalia Kokorina within these proceedings. After the search, Natalia Kokorina was taken to the FSB, where she was interrogated for six hours as a witness in the case. During the searches, the officers seized computers and laptops belonging to family members of journalists. A month later, the FSB summoned journalist Anna Shaydurova for interrogation.

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