Reporters Without Borders to Russia: Stop crackdown on media

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Reporters Without Borders press focused on the issue of Meduza, a news outlet based in Riga, Latvia.

Which was added by the Russian Ministry of Justice to the “registry of foreign media performing the functions of a foreign agent” about two weeks ago.

In its statement on Wednesday, the organization said that after finding itself on that list, Medusa was forced to “close the office and cut salaries.”

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Reporters Without Borders also said that Meduza, which is funded through ads, claims to receive more than 13 million visitors per month.

But the number has decreased dramatically, and many advertisers have abandoned the outlet.

So Meduza was forced to close offices in Riga and Moscow, cut employee salaries in half, stop self-employed services, and launch an appeal for donations.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders called on the Russian authorities to cancel the “strict and defamatory record of the” foreign agent “media.

Which exists only to enable the government to tighten its grip on the press, “the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, went a step further.

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Last week, he signed a new law requiring the media to decide to re-publish the content produced by outlets from the registry.

To indicate that the material was produced by a “foreign agent”, or face fines of up to 50,000 Russian rubles ($ 650).

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, journalists and NGOs around the world called on Russia to stop suppressing independent media.

Reminding Moscow that it has signed the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression for all citizens.

As well as the right to “receive and impart information and ideas without interference from the public authority, regardless of borders.”

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They stressed that “the independent Russian media and investigative journalism in particular are severely threatened.”

The document states: “Since the beginning of his presidency, Vladimir Putin has suppressed independent media through various means: legislative restrictions, change of ownership, fines and criminal charges.”

As a result, she added, Russia’s media landscape “is now dominated by state-controlled outlets or Vladimir Putin’s old friends.”

Russia is also ranked 150 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2020.