News of the Day: 27 April 2021

RFE/RL: A Russian court has approved a motion by prosecutors to suspend some of the activities of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and his Citizens’ Rights Defense Foundation (FZPG). “A judge of the Moscow City Court has considered the motion of the plaintiff to take interim measures of protection. The judge of the Moscow City Court has decided to use interim measures of protection in the form of prohibiting certain acts with regards to the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the Citizens’ Rights Defense Foundation noncommercial organizations,” the court’s press office said on April 27. According to the court, the move does not halt all activities at the two foundations. The court did not reveal the details of the restrictions, saying that the materials of the case were classified.

Front Line Defenders: On 27 April 2021, the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow charged human rights defender Sergey Davidis to 10 days administrative arrest for “organization or holding of a public event without filing, in accordance with the established procedure, a notification of the holding of a public event”. The charges are based on a retweet by Sergey Davidis on 18 April 2021, of a tweet about a rally in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny planned for 21 April 2021. Sergey Davidis was detained on 25 April 2021 and was held at the Department of Internal Affairs of the Meshchansky District of Moscow for more than two days before the court ordered to arrest him.

RFE/RL: Journalists and activists are under pressure in Moscow for being at a rally earlier this month demanding the immediate release of jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. Police on April 27 detained Aleksei Korostelyov, a reporter for Dozhd television, for questioning regarding his presence at the protest. After Korostelyov’s editors arrived at the police station with documents confirming that he was covering the April 21 rally as a reporter, police released him but ordered him to come back for questioning on April 30. Meanwhile, police visited Oleg Ovcharenko, a correspondent for the Ekho Moskvy radio station, on April 27 and ordered him to produce documents for the police proving that he was at the rally in question as a reporter. The day before, police detained professor Aleksandr Agadzhanyan from the Russian Humanitarian University for questioning and charged him with taking part in the unsanctioned April 21 demonstration. They also detained for questioning opposition politician Leonid Gozman, and visited the homes of several activists, including human rights defender Anna Borzenko. Writer Dmitry Bykov said he was summoned for questioning, and police reportedly switched off electricity at the apartment of artist Daniil Dvinsky after they were unable to reach him at home.

The Moscow Times: Russian police have detained two journalists from leading independent news outlets after they covered recent protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the Ekho Moskvy radio station reported Tuesday. Officers arrived at the homes of Dozhd journalist Alexei Korostelev and Ekho Moskvy correspondent Oleg Ovcharenko early Tuesday and brought them to a Moscow police station, Ekho Moskvy and Dozhd reported. 

The Moscow Times: Popular Russian independent news website Meduza said Monday that authorities are attempting to “kill” it with an onerous foreign agent designation that will strip it of advertising revenue and put employees at risk of jail time. The Justice Ministry declared Meduza, one of the country’s most-read news outlets, a “foreign agent” on Friday. The designation, which Meduza vows to challenge in court, requires it to slap the “foreign agent” label on all published content and report its activities to the authorities.

The Moscow Times: Russia’s third-largest city of Novosibirsk has been blanketed by smog from dozens of nearby wildfires, with residents gasping for air and local media reporting a distinct smell of smoke in the city center. Authorities in the Siberian city of 1.7 million on Tuesday issued a so-called “Black Sky” air quality warning, according to the local news website, with smoke-clearing rain not expected until early Wednesday. 

RFE/RL: A Russian government regulator has slapped a fine of more than $12 million on U.S. tech giant Apple for “abusing” its dominant market position by giving preference to its own applications. “Apple was found to have abused its dominant position in the iOS distribution market through a series of sequential actions which resulted in a competitive advantage for its own products,” the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) said in a statement on April 27. “On April 26, 2021, the FAS of Russia imposed a turnover fine on Apple Inc of 906.3 million rubles ($12.1 million) for violating anti-monopoly legislation,” the statement said.

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