• 25 September, 2023
Geopolitics & National Security

Russian channel says it’s been told to remove reports on alleged graft

Tue, 01 Feb 2022   |  Reading Time: 1 minute

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s state media watchdog has ordered television channel TV Rain and several other outlets to remove reports from their websites about corruption allegations aired by jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny, TV Rain said on Tuesday.

Roskomnadzor did not respond to a request for comment on the report, and there was no immediate comment from the other outlets mentioned by TV Rain https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/russia-declares-media-outlet-tv-rain-foreign-agent-2021-08-20, which made its name covering street protests against President Vladimir Putin. Authorities ordered a sweeping crackdown on Navalny’s political network last year after a court declared it “extremist” and outlawed it.

The government has also stepped up a crackdown on media outlets deemed to be a “foreign agent”, a term it uses to label foreign-funded organisations it says are engaged in political activity. TV Rain, which is among the outlets designated as a “foreign agent”, said Roskomnadzor had told it to take down six reports about corruption allegations made by Navalny between 2017 and 2020 that were deemed to violate anti-extremism legislation.

The channel said it had been given 24 hours to comply with the order and that it had taken down the reports. It said several other domestic media outlets had also been told to take down similar content. “This is called censorship (although that is still prohibited in Russia’s raped constitution),” said Leonid Volkov, a Navalny ally who is now based outside Russia. “Roskomnadzor is demanding reality be changed, the internet cleaned up, facts cancelled.”

Denying a crackdown is under way, the Kremlin has described Russia’s media market as vibrant, with many different outlets to choose from. Before he was jailed last year, Navalny had built up an activist network across Russia and carved out a following online, partly by publishing anti-corruption investigations about top officials including Putin. The Kremlin has denied any wrongdoing by the president.

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