"Violating the right to information of millions of people"
Roskomvoboda suggests victims of the blanket bans by the Russian media censor should complain to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Roskomvoboda (abbreviated from “Russian communications freedom”, as opposed to the “Russian communications watchdog”, Roskomnadzor) called on the Russians who have suffered from the blanket bans by Roskomnadzor to write a statement to the Russian MIA. As stated in the announcement on the project’s website, Roskomvoboda recommends every Russian Internet user to turn to law enforcement agencies with a request to review the legality of the supervisory authority’s actions that are considered violation of people’s rights.
According to the project’s lawyers, if Roskomnadzor made it impossible for a user to visit a website not included in the Unified Register of Prohibited Websites, then the actions of Roskomnadzor may reveal signs of violation of Art. 13.18 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation "Impending Steady Work of Websites" and Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation "Exceeding Official Powers, which involve a substantial violation of the rights and lawful interests of individuals or organizations".
"I believe, we could all clearly see in the last few days that Roskomnadzor has pushed things too far. Over the last five years, we’ve got used to them blocking random websites, but it has never been like this. There are all the signs of a deliberate mass shutdown. Under international law, this is a flagrant violation of the basic principles formulated by the United Nations, concerning limiting access to banned information. Roskomnadzor blacklisting an array of subnets in en effort to block Telegram is clearly acting unreasonably, causing significant economic damage to Russian Internet businesses and violating the rights of millions of citizens to freedom of information. [...]
While entrepreneurs are preparing their lawsuits, we will continue demanding that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and prosecutors thoroughly review the court decisions and punish the perpetrators.
All the affected users and entrepreneurs have the right to stand for their rights and make such claims. It is their constitutional right to protect themselves against unlawful actions of the officials who apparently want to destroy the Russian Internet completely," said Sarkis Darbinyan, Roskomvoboda’s leading lawyer.
The message says that people can make a statement to the Ministry of Internal Affairs without any legal assistance, and the lawyers ask them to send copies of the statements to Roskosvoboda so that they could monitor and consolidate all the complaints. It is also possible to file a collective complaint. The lawyers also suggest measuring the extent to which the access to good sites is restricted.
Earlier it emerged that last week the Agora human rights organization representing companies affected by the Roskomnadzor bans while it is trying to shut down the Telegram app, is going to turn to the Prosecutor General's Office and ask to review the legality of what Roskomnadzor is doing. After this, the lawyers are going to turn to the ECHR, an Agora representative, Pavel Chikov, posted on Telegram.