Hefty fines: Russian authorities give no peace to ‘foreign agent’ Memorial

A Moscow court imposed a fine of 300,000 Russian rubles ($4,700) on the international society Memorial over allegedly violating the ‘foreign agents’ law. It is the second penalty that Memorial has got for the past the week.

Russia adopted the law on in 2012. In accordance with it, if an organization engaged in political activities receive any foreign funding, it may be considered as a foreign agent. In this case, the authorities are to exercise tighter control over such NGO.

Roskomnadzor (Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) made a protocol upon the organization due to the fact that there was no ‘foreign agent’ label on its Twitter profile.

According to memorial’s lawyers, no violation was committed, since Its websites, YouTube channel and Facebook account do have such a label, and there is no need to add it to each publication on social networks as they are used only for promotion and announcement of materials. Roskomnadzor, however, has a different opinion regarding social media platforms as information resources.

In total, the Russian media watchdog has already drawn 14 protocols on Memorial.

On November 1, the Russian authorities fined Memorial for the lack of the foreign agent label on the Facebook page of ita Ingush office of Memorial (300,000 rubles); they will also have to pay another 30,000 to the state budget for the lack of the label on Youtube.

International Historical Educational Charitable and Human Rights Society Memorial is a non-commercial organisation studying political repressions in the USSR and in present-day Russia and promoting moral and legal rehabilitation of persons subjected to political repressions.

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