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Russian censor draws up first misdemeanors against individuals for violating ‘foreign agent’ requirements

Source: Meduza

In the Siberian city of Yakutsk on October 12, Russia’s censorship agency (Roskomnadzor) summoned Stepan Petrov, the head of the public organization “Yakutia — Our Opinion,” and charged him with a misdemeanor for failing to fulfil “foreign agent” requirements. 

The Russian Justice Ministry added Petrov to its “foreign-agent media” registry on August 20. The details of the misdemeanor charges drawn up on October 12 remain unknown. 

Under Administrative Code Article 19.34.01, failure to comply with “foreign agent” requirements is punishable by a 10,000-ruble ($140) fine. However, any subsequent violations threaten criminal charges. 

Though Apologia Protesta claimed that Petrov was the first individual in Russia to be accused of failing to fulfil “foreign agent” requirements, the publication SOTA later reported that a similar protocol was drawn up against human rights icon Lev Ponomaryov a day earlier, on October 11.

According to SOTA, Ponomaryov was written up by Roskomnadzor for failing to include a mandatory disclaimer on 25 Facebook posts, 13 tweets, and two Instagram posts.

Lev Ponomaryov was one of the first five individuals Russia’s Justice Ministry added to the “foreign-agent media” registry in December 2020. Since mid-summer 2021, the Justice Ministry has designated more than 50 individuals as “foreign agents.” 

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Tear down these regulations! Dozens of newsrooms, nonprofits, charities, and education groups come together to demand the repeal of Russia’s draconian legislation on ‘foreign agents’

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