Russia blocks website of protest monitoring group for allegedly promoting ‘terrorism and extremism’

A day after imposing massive fines on Meta and Goggle over failure to delete illegal content, Russia has now blocked the website of the OVD-Info protest-monitoring group after the court ruling. The group has documented anti-Kremlin protests for years. 

For the unversed, OVD-Info is an independent Russian human rights media project aimed at combating political persecution. However, Russia is on a spree to crackdown on dissent. 

On Saturday (December 25), OVD-Info said that Russia’s communication watchdog had blocked its website earlier this week. The monitoring group is also known for providing legal support to victims of political persecution. 

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While informing the ruling, the group tweeted, “At the moment, we have not received a notice and do not know the reason for being blocked.”

It is important to note that a Roskomnadzor registry of blocked websites showed that a Moscow region court had issued a ruling dated December 20 to “limit” access to the site. 

However, later Saturday, Russian news agencies cited Roskomnadzor as confirming that it had blocked OVD-Info’s website, as reported by AFP. 

The Moscow region court had ruled that the group’s activities were aimed at promoting “terrorism and extremism” in Russia.

Roskomnadzor added that it had sent “demands” to social media networks to “delete the organisation’s accounts”.

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Meta and Google fined

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has been slapped with a massive fine on Friday (December 24) by a Moscow court for failing to remove content that is deemed illegal. 

The court’s press service revealed on a messaging app Telegram that Meta has been fined $27 million. The court also informed that it has imposed a fine of $98 million on Google. 

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