Week-ending 30 July 2021
This week the authorities again used the ‘foreign agent’ laws to punish and intimidate journalists. On 28 July 2021 police raided the apartment of Roman Dobrokhotov, chief editor of The Insider website, days after it was designated a ‘foreign agent’ media outlet. Marie Struthers, Amnesty International Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Director, described the police action as “a blatant attempt to intimidate a journalist who has made clear his intention not to be silenced by the designation last week of his publication as a ‘foreign agent’. ” This week the chief editor of the Proekt media outlet, Roman Badanin, said he would not return to Russia following his designation as a ‘foreign agent’. Proekt has itself been designated as an ‘undesirable’ foreign organisation. According to reports, official intentions to further tighten ‘foreign agent’ legislation were shown earlier in July when the FSB published a draft instruction listing a number of restricted military and technical topics that Russian citizens could be deemed ‘foreign agents’ for discussing.
RFE/RL, 28 July 2021: Police have raided the Moscow apartment of Roman Dobrokhotov, editor in chief of The Insider investigative website, just days after it was added to Russia’s controversial registry of “foreign agents.” Dobrokhotov tweeted that police came to his apartment early in the morning on July 28.
Amnesty International, 28 July 2021: Following the raid on the Moscow apartment of journalist and editor, Roman Dobrokhotov, as well as the home of his parents, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Director, said: “This morning’s police raids are a blatant attempt to intimidate a journalist who has made clear his intention not to be silenced by the designation last week of his publication as a ‘foreign agent’.
RFE/RL, 28 July 2021: Earlier this month, the Federal Security Service (FSB) published a draft instruction listing military and technical topics that Russian citizens could be deemed “foreign agents” for discussing, making them subject to restrictions and possible administrative or criminal punishment.
The Moscow Times, 30 July 2021: Chief editor of the independent investigative outlet Proekt, Roman Badanin, will not return to Russia amid what critics call a Kremlin crackdown on non-state news outlets, Reuters reported Thursday. Russia’s Justice Ministry added Badanin and three other Proekt journalists to its list of “foreign agents,” while the Prosecutor General’s Office outlawed the outlet itself as “undesirable,” two weeks ago.