16 April 2020
On 15 April the Prosecutor General’s Office demanded that Roskomnadzor [the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media] block an article by Elena Milashina entitled “Death from Coronavirus is the Lesser Evil.” After publication of the article, the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, demanded that the FSB “stop these villains, who write and provoke my people” and directly threatened the author of the article: “If you want us to commit a crime and become criminals, then say so. One of us will take on this burden of responsibility and be punished by the law. He will go to prison and then be released.”
The editor-in-chief of Novaya gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, told The Insider that the newspaper was preparing a request to the Prosecutor General, demanding that he explain on what basis the decision was made to block the article:
“We have complied with the Prosecutor General’s requirements, and the material is temporarily not being shown. Our legal services are preparing a request to the Prosecutor General, asking that they explain what they have to present to us. We really want to understand why they made the decision to block it. The request will be sent today, and they will have some time to provide a response.
“So far, we know that the Prosecutor General’s Office has demanded that Roskomnadzor use its powers to keep us under supervision. We also want to find out on what basis the Prosecutor General made this demand.
“We left the readers a big bonus in the form of Ramzan Kadyrov’s response to Novaya Gazeta, which wasn’t deleted.”
Translated by Alice Lee