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Journalists’ Union plans protest rally in Moscow opposing ‘foreign agents’ law

The Journalists’ and Media Workers’ Union has notified the Moscow Mayor’s Office that it plans to hold a protest rally opposing Russia’s “foreign agents” law. The demonstration is scheduled for September 4, 2021, and will take place on Moscow’s Pushkin Square.

“After the mass inclusion of a dozen newsrooms and two dozen of our colleagues on the list of mass media ‘foreign agents’ we believe it’s necessary to turn to our readers and viewers for protection. We believe that independent press, television, and free flow of information are of enormous value in our time in Russia, and the solidarity of journalists, together with those for whom they work, will help to repeal laws that put our colleagues at risk.”

The rally’s start time will be announced after the demonstration is approved by the Mayor’s Office, the organizers noted. 

On August 22, Russian journalists held a series of solitary pickets outside of the FSB headquarters in downtown Moscow, to protest independent media outlets being designated as “foreign agents.” Twelve demonstrators were detained. Most of them were released shortly after being written up for violating the regulations for holding rallies. RT journalist Ilya Vasyunin was held at a police station for nearly two days.

On August 21, the independent television channel Dozhd (TV Rain) and the investigative outlet iStories were designated as “foreign agents,” along with seven iStories journalists. These are the fifth additions to the Russian Justice Ministry’s “foreign-agent” registry in the past four months. 

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