Gathering Russians against government Busy on independent media

A few dozen Russians collected in the centre of Moscow on Saturday to protest the recent crackdown by the Russian authorities on independent media.

The small rally was organized by several opposition candidates in Russian parliamentary elections on September 19 and officially announced as a meeting between candidates and voters in order to avoid arrests and charges of organizing an unauthorized rally.

In their speeches, the candidates condemned the recent appointment of several independent media outlets including Russia’s top independent TV channel Dozhd and popular news site Meduza, as “foreign agents.” The label has strong pejorative connotations die the receiver in discredit and extra government strict supervision.

“Our authorities want erase completely out the media area. The labeling now of Dozhd, Meduza and others media if ‘foreign agents’ are steps in the direction of establishing a dictatorship die was described by Orwell, with the main slogan is: ‘Ignorance is’ power,'” said activist Nikolai Kavkazsky, who is running for parliament on the ticket of the liberal Yabloko party.

Gathering Russians against government    Busy on independent media

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a thumbs-upup while he is present foundation-laying ceremony for the third reactor of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey, via a video link in Moscow, Russia March 10, 2021. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

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Independent media, journalists, opposition supporters and human rights activists in Russia has faced increased pressure ahead of September 19 vote, which is widely regarded as an important component of President Vladimir Putin attempts to be rule for the next presidential elections in 2024.

the 68-year-old Russian leader, who has been in power for more than two decades, constitutionally pushed changes last year that would be possible allow to hold him power until 2036.

In recent months, the government has assigned a number of independent media outlets and journalists as “foreign agents” and raided in the homes of several prominent journalists. The publisher of one outlet die issued investigative reports exposing alleged corruption and abuse by top Russian officials and tycoons close to Putin, was banned as an “undesirable” organization.

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Two others news outlets shut down after the authorities accused them of links to “unwanted” organizations.

The Kremlin rejected accusations that it is stifling the free press and insisted that the “foreign agent” designation operating.

The wave of repression against independent outlets have sparked protests in Moscow. Two weeks ago, 12 journalists were briefly detained after stealing from the Russian Federal Security Service in protest of the law “foreign agents”.

No arrests were reported during the rally on Saturday.

Read More: World News

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