Russian authorities have developed an “evolving system of restrictions and severe retaliation to quash public protests,” according to human rights group Amnesty International.
His latest report found that things have gotten worse since President Vladimir Putin returned to power in 2012, and that the media is not the only target. Citizens and organizations are also suppressed.
The situation has continued to deteriorate since the poisoning and imprisonment of dissident Alexei Navalny in 2020, said Natalia Prilutskaya, Amnesty International’s researcher in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
“The Kremlin viewed Navalny as a dangerous person for them,” she said.
“[He] It could lead to discontent, and perhaps lead to a protest that would challenge the policies and practices of the government, the laws, and then interest in his impeachment, basically.”
Since Russia’s war in Ukraine, control of information has been essential to its regime. Amnesty International said the exclusion of independent media and human rights monitors meant that the government could almost completely control discourse.
Over the past several years, the authorities have created a legislative regime that restricts freedom of expression in Russia. The NGO added that these days the police are making more demands.
“If the international community remains silent, it reinforces repression,” said Ms. Prilutskaya. “It makes it possible to crystallize the kind of ‘consensus’ in society that Putin and his government always brag about so much.”
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