Russia’s blocks RSF site ahead of World Press Freedom Index release but mirror site still accessible

The Russian authorities have begun arbitrarily blocking the website of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), says RSF, condemning this act of censorship just days ahead of the publication of RSF’s annual World Press Freedom Index. An RSF mirror site is nonetheless still accessible within Russia.

“RSF’s only ‘crime’ is drawing the world’s attention to the Russian government’s abuses against journalists in Russia and Ukraine, its systematic media censorship and the state propaganda apparatus. The arbitrary blocking of our website yet again shows that the Kremlin and its clique tolerate no criticism. Those in Russia who want to keep abreast of RSF’s activities can nonetheless go to RSF’s mirror site.

Jeanne Cavelier
Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk

The censorship of the entire domain site began on 18  April. The Russian authorities took this decision on 15 April without notifying RSF, which has never had a branch in Russia. Neither the origin of the blocking nor the reasons have been given, according to the register kept by Roskomsvoboda, an NGO that monitors Internet censorship. RSF’s site has joined the more than 1.7 million URLs blocked in Russia, which include the sites of dozens of media outlets.

In tune with the censorship, Russian propaganda mouthpieces such as Aleksandr Kots, a war reporter for the pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolkaya Pravda, have begun publishing lies about RSF. “This organisation, which receives funding from the American intelligence services, has long and consistently smeared Russia in its annual freedom of speech ratings,” he wrote on 21 April, without first checking RSF’s financial report, which lists all of its funding sources.

Access the RSF mirror site here.

162/ 180
Score : 29.86
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