Russians React To ‘Foreign Agent’ Media Law
This was reported by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Liz Trossell, a representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed regret over the recognition by the Russian authorities of several citizens by the media as foreign agents. She stated this in a commentary to the Idel editorial staff..
Throssell’s commentary notes that the list of foreign agents targets human rights defenders and journalists and appears to be aimed at restricting their freedom of speech and expression..
The office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media has criticized the bill. The commentary emphasizes that the practice of recognition by foreign agents narrows the space for freedom of expression, freedom of the media and free flow of information in Russia..
The commentary notes that Russia, like all OSCE participating States, undertook to give the public unlimited access to foreign media..
The Ministry of Justice of Russia on December 28 included five people in the register of foreign media performing the functions of a foreign agent. Media – the agency recognized human rights activist Lev Ponomarev, civil activist Daria Apakhonchich and journalists Ludmila Savitskaya, Sergei Markelov and Denis Kamalyagin collaborating with Radio Liberty as foreign agents..
According to the law that came into force at the end of 2019, the media can be recognized as a foreign agent by an individual who distributes materials of a publication or a legal entity recognized as a foreign agent, participates in their creation and receives foreign funding..
Later, the Duma adopted, and Putin signed a law according to which citizens can be recognized as foreign agents and for engaging in politics or collecting information for foreigners if they receive or plan to receive money for this from abroad..
Human rights activists, non-profit organizations, and Western countries are opposed to Russian legislation on foreign agents. In December, Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe Corporation condemned the decision of the Russian authorities to include five Russian citizens on the list of foreign media outlets..
By its decision, the Ministry of Justice makes it clear that honest reporting of facts is a crime in its eyes, – said RFE / RL Editor-in-Chief Daisy Sindelar.