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Human rights activists attributed Arkhangelsk Oblast to the zone of "meaningful pressure" on the freedom of information

Daniil Kuznetsov
Security at Shies

Experts of the Agora Human Rights Group and Roskomsvoboda released a report on restrictions on Internet freedom in 2019. Analysts indicated 119 cases of digital freedom restriction in Arkhangelsk Oblast. The report was published by human rights activists on February 4.

According to the authors' estimation, there were five interferences to the work of media, one shutdown (unplanned Internet disconnection) and more than 100 cases of administrative pressure on Internet users in Pomorye in 2019.

"After some hesitation, a few years ago, the authorities decided on the main vector of policy in relation to the Russian segment of the Internet — control, censorship, and isolation. The ultimate goal is to create a sovereign Internet like in China and North Korea. Last year, key standard acts were adopted to achieve this goal," the authors of the report concluded adding that Russian Internet users are actively adjusting to the latest repressions of the state.

Human rights activists estimate that the authorities fined bloggers for about 1 million rubles for disrespect to authorities in 2019, the authors noted several cases of application of this new administrative article in Arkhangelsk Oblast. Police tried to apply an article for "fake news" diffusion in Pomorye for the first time in Russia. In total, about 270 thousand websites were banned in Russia. 38 Russians were jailed for crimes on the Internet.

According to human rights activists, the number of cases of violation of Internet freedom in Pomorye has increased more than four times compared to 2018.

In addition to Pomorye, the «red zone» of meaningful pressure on Internet freedom includes Karelia, Murmansk Oblast and other regions.

Mass protests against the landfill construction at station Shies were held in Arkhangelsk Oblast in 2019. This topic has caused public discourse on the Internet.


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