News / Europe

Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, surrounded by police officers, leaves a court after being sentenced to seven days in prison for participating in an anti-government protest in Moscow, Feb. 25, 2014.
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, surrounded by police officers, leaves a court after being sentenced to seven days in prison for participating in an anti-government protest in Moscow, Feb. 25, 2014.
VOA News
In what appears to be another move designed to stifle dissent online, Russia's federal regulator announced on Thursday that it had blocked access to the Internet sites of Kremlin critics.

The list from Roskomnadzor included independent pro-opposition news sites, the website of opposition leader Garry Kasparov, and the blog of popular anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

"The prosecutor general's office ordered Russian Internet providers to restrict access to these Internet resources," Roskomnadzor said.
Roskomnadzor said Navalny's blog violated the conditions of house arrest recently imposed on the opposition leader, who is serving a five-year suspended sentence on a theft conviction, which he claims was engineered by the Kremlin.
 
The other three sites were ordered blocked because they "contain calls for illegal activity and participation in mass events conducted in violation of the established order," the regulator said.
 
Nikolai Rudensky, deputy chief editor of one of the opposition sites, told VOA's Russian service that editors have no exact information as to why the website is blocked.
 
Another blocked site editor, Alexander Ryklin, called the blacklisting of his website "monstrous" and a "direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech," radio station Ekho Moskvy reported.

Ryklin said he did not know why the site was blocked.
 
The moves came a day after the editor of independent news site Lenta.ru was dismissed after it received a warning about publication of remarks by a Ukrainian far-right leader in what dozens of its staff members alleged was Kremlin censorship.

Ten days ago, Roskomnadzor acted on the order of the general prosecutor's office, and blocked 13 Internet pages linked to "the activity of Ukrainian nationalist groups."
 
Online activists and journalists are increasingly concerned that the Russian leadership is seeking to broaden Internet censorship and tighten control over Russian society as Russia faces off against the United States and European Union in a bitter dispute over the future of Ukraine.
 
"This is the latest political decision taken as part of the cleansing of the media space," Navalny's spokeswoman Anna Veduta said on Twitter.
 
The Kremlin denies allegations of censorship or pressure on the media, but media watchdog organizations disagree.

A report by Reporters Without Borders published March 12, the World Day against Cyber Censorship, condemned Russia, calling it one of the "enemies of the Internet."

Russia, the report says, has adopted dangerous legislation governing the flow of news and information and freedom of expression online.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
March 13, 2014 8:52 PM
Putin should not be allowed entry to any nations. Restrictions MUST be put in place.
In Response

by: Reply
March 15, 2014 9:21 AM
You have no brain!

by: Anonymous
March 13, 2014 8:51 PM
Time for the world to halt ALL economic ties to Russia.
There must be a new source of energy not reliant on "Putin" whatsoever. Perhaps an Interpol warrant for the invasion of Crimea would be nice too.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs