Moscow court sends 140 fines against RFE/RL’s Russian Service for re-examination
Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court has overturned a decision from a magistrate’s court to impose 140 fines on RFE/RL’s Russian Service and its director Andrey Shary. The Tverskoy Court sent the proceedings for re-examination.
The RFE/RL (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) Russian Service stands accused of violating Russia’s “foreign agent media” regulations, for failing to add “foreign agent” labels to all of its publications and social media content.
The court told the Russian state news agency TASS that the decision to send the proceedings for re-examination was linked to a breach of jurisdiction: the protocols should have been considered by the Tverskoy District Court and not the Tverskoy District Magistrate’s Court.
The Tverskoy District Court upheld another 117 fines against RFE/RL’s Russian Service, totaling 28.8 million rubles (nearly $390,000).
In mid-April, Russia’s state censor, Roskomnadzor, filed 390 administrative protocols against RFE/RL’s Russian Service and Andrey Shary for failing to include “foreign agent” labels on its publications. At that point, the magistrate’s court had already considered 288 protocols against the broadcaster and handed down 79.2 million rubles in fines (approximately $1 million).
In mid-April, the leadership of RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Radio Svoboda, offered to help some of the editorial staff from their Moscow bureau relocate to the Czech Republic or Ukraine. This was first reported by the BBC Russian Service, which directly linked this decision to the fines from Roskomnadzor.