Khodorkovsky calls blocking Open Russia site infringement of right to information

Khodorkovsky calls blocking Open Russia site infringement of right to information
Mikhail Khodorkovsky

According to Khodorkovsky, the sites were blocked by "representatives of the Kremlin criminal group, hiding under the guise of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation."

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of Open Russia movement and ex-head of Yukos, commented on blocking of online resources of the organization in Russia by Roskomnadzor on his Facebook page.

Earlier on Tuesday, December 12, it transpired that the government agency blocked the sites of Open Russia openrussia.org, or.team, Open Elections and Open University (ov.openrussia.org), imrussia.org (Institute of Contemporary Russia) and khodorkovsky.ru (personal site of Mikhail Khodorkovsky), as well as sites vmestoputina.ru (Instead of Putin project) and pravo.openrussia.org (Open Law) at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office.

According to Khodorkovsky, the sites were blocked by "representatives of the Kremlin criminal group, hiding under the guise of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation." "The criminals refer to the agency's authority to shut down the websites of "undesirable" foreign organizations," the ex-head of Yukos pointed out.

As Mikhail Khodorkovsky remarked, "they know beforehand that there are no foreign organizations with such names, and existing "undesirable" foreign organizations (with completely different names) have nothing to do with the websites blocked."

The Prosecutor General's Office demanded to block all sites with materials of foreign NGOs recognized in the RF as undesirable

Earlier the press service of Open Russia clarified that the Russian movement Open Russia is not related to the British organization Otkrytaya Rossia, whose activities were deemed undesirable in the territory of the Russian Federation in April.

"Thus, we are dealing with abuse of official powers to truckle the leadership of the criminal group. This is not only a violation of the constitutional norm on freedom of speech, but also a criminal offense against administrative order," Khodorkovsky summed up. He noted that the organization would demand the restoration of violated rights and "punishment of criminals" from the judicial authorities. However, the founder of Open Russia made a proviso that his supporters and he "do not hope for justice controlled by the mafia clan."

Khodorkovsky encouraged foreign law enforcement agencies in contact with representatives of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office to "realize that the name of this agency conceals representatives of a criminal organization, who are not only directly involved in corruption crimes, not only covering the violation of the rights of citizens, but also violating basic human rights themselves. Including the right to freedom of speech".

The Yukos former head also urged public organizations of democratic countries and parliamentary groups responsible for international legal cooperation to support the appeals of the movement "on the review of relations with the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation" to law enforcement agencies of their countries.

"I am appealing to the citizens of Russia, regardless of their consent or disagreement with the views of the editorial boards of blocked websites: it is an attack on the right of each of you to freedom of information," Khodorkovsky said in a statement. He also asked to support the blocked editorial teams in social networks.

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