The Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow recognized the decision of the Ministry of Justice to include journalists Ilya Rozhdestvensky and Elizaveta Maetnaya in the register of media outlets – “foreign agents”. About it informs Pavel Chikov, head of the international human rights group Agora.
According to lawyer Leonid Solovyov, the sessions lasted about half an hour. However, it was not possible to find out the grounds for including the journalists in the register. The Ministry of Justice did not submit to the court documents from Rosfinmonitoring about transfers to journalists from abroad, on the basis of which they were recognized as “foreign agents.” This was explained by the fact that the data is intended for official use.
During consideration of the lawsuit filed by former Open Media journalist Ilya Rozhdestvensky, the Ministry of Justice showed the list of articles due to which he was included in the register of media outlets – “foreign agents”, Chikov said. Among them were the investigations of the journalist about the real estate of the Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, about the case of Ivan Safronov, and materials about the winter rallies of supporters of the politician Alexei Navalny.
Ilya Rozhdestvensky and Radio Liberty journalist Elizaveta Maetnaya registry Media – “foreign agents” in July.
The register of “foreign agents” media includes 18 media, 25 journalists and four legal entities created by “foreign agents” journalists. Since April alone, the list has been replenished with 30 items.
On the International Day of Solidarity of Journalists, September 8, more than 40 Russian media launched an action in support of media and journalists included in the register of “foreign agents”, and also published messages to readers.
The participants put up banners on their main pages and in front of all materials with the words: “There are no foreign agents, there are journalists”, as well as “This message (material) was created and (or) disseminated by a mass media performing the functions of a mass media”. Die plays with the mention that should be used in all their messages by the media and people recognized as “foreign agents”.
The publications also urged their readers to sign their posts on social networks this way.
As the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said, it is “too early to talk about the dialogue with the media”: “While the parliament is still to be formed, commissions and so on, then an expert conversation will begin. Still, without the participation of parliamentarians, and the parliament has yet to be elected , such a conversation with the shop is hardly possible. “
Earlier, the chief editors of Russian media, including the Dozhd TV channel, Novaya Gazeta, Ekho Moskvy, Znak.com and TV2, published an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov and Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko with the requirement to cancel the current list of “foreign agents” and amend the legislation on “foreign agents”.
In their address, the heads of the media propose 12 amendments to the law on “foreign agents”. Including assigning such a status, according to the signers of the open letter, should be done only by a court decision. Also, the legislation should clearly define the concepts of “political activity” and “lobbying”. The authors of the appeal propose to oblige the Ministry of Justice to provide evidence on which this or that media is a “foreign agent”.
Prior to that, the editorial offices of the Russian media appealed to the country’s leadership with a demand to stop the campaign against independent journalism. Such statements were made by the TV channel “Rain“,” Novaya Gazeta “, Russian Forbes and”Jellyfish“, as well as The Village,” 7 × 7 “, Republic,” Pskov province “, Wonderzine and many other publications.
The journalists addressed their appeal to President Vladimir Putin, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, State Duma and Federation Council chairmen Vyacheslav Volodin and Valentina Matvienko and others.
The media demanded to comply with the law on mass media and to abandon the practice of including publications and journalists on the lists of “foreign agents” and “undesirable organizations”, and to stop detaining and beating media representatives at protest rallies.
The Dozhd TV channel and the Vostochnye Stories publication entered the register of media “foreign agents” on August 20; Also included in this list are the editor-in-chief of Vostochnye Stories Roman Anin, journalists of the publication Roman Shleinov, Irina Dolinina, Alesya Marokhovskaya, Dmitry Velikovsky and ex-journalist of the publication Olesya Shmagun. The journalist Stepan Petrov also appeared in it.
In mid-June 2021, Dozhd was expelled from the journalistic pool of Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to two sources of Meduza on the channel, the reason for the exclusion was that Dozhd covered the return of politician Alexei Navalny from Germany to Russia and the rallies in support of him. In 2015, the Dozhd TV channel was excluded from a number of cable networks after a poll on the blockade of Leningrad that appeared on its Twitter account.
Aleksandr Ionov, a former member of the Moscow POC, filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General’s Office about Important Stories.
In Russia, since the beginning of the year, several independent publications and investigative projects, including The Insider and Meduza, have been included in the list of media outlets as “foreign agents,” and the Project has been recognized as an “undesirable organization”. In early August, the websites of Open Media and MBH Media were blocked.
Previously, Prigogine RIA FAN also did an appeal to the Prosecutor General’s Office with a request to recognize the Bellingcat investigation group as an “undesirable organization”. It was Bellingcat who investigated the activities of Russian geraushniks abroad, as well as the poisoning of Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Dmitry Bykov and others.
The Ministry of Justice of Russia entered the Present Tense into the register of media “foreign agents” in 2017. Our TV channel is not an “agent” of any of the governments and considers this decision to be unfair and legally controversial.