Human Rights Watch (HRW) continues to monitor the situation in Russia. As it follows up events in the country, it turned its attention on Russian authorities’ brazen attempts to pressure social media to censor posts. According to the article by HRW:
Russian authorities are escalating pressure on social media companies, forcing them to censor online content deemed illegal by the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Social media platforms have received warnings and face fines and potential blocking for failure to comply with Russia’s rapidly growing oppressive internet legislation.
The authorities’ demands for censorship have followed recent waves of mass protests throughout Russia, expressing outrage over government corruption and the imprisonment of the political opposition figure Alexei Navalny. Law enforcement arbitrarily detained at least 10,000 people, including peaceful protesters, passers-by, and journalists. Local human rights groups reported numerous cases of police brutality.
“Social media censorship is among the tools Russian authorities are using to suppress peaceful protests,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Curtailing freedom of expression online, along with the unprecedented scale of the recent arbitrary arrests, violates the right of people in Russia to express their views in a peaceful way.”
Read the full article here.