23 May 2022 20:09

Moscow court upholds prosecutor decision to block TV Rain

MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) - Moscow's Tverskoi District Court has dismissed the lawsuit filed by TV Rain (a.k.a. Dozhd, a television channel, designated as a foreign-agent media in Russia), which challenged the decision of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office to restrict access to the channel's website, the court's press service told Interfax on Monday.

"The court has ruled to dismiss the lawsuit," the court's press service said.

The claimant, the company officially named Telekanal Dozhd OOO, indicated in its lawsuit that it had received a notification from the Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor "restricting access, at the request of the Prosecutor General's Office, to an information resource on which there is information being disseminated in violation of law," it said.

The television channel found the request of the Prosecutor General's Office impossible to implement, as the required removal of the alleged violations would mean the deletion of all TV Rain reports.

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office issued a statement on March 1 to accuse TV Rain and the Ekho Moskvy radio station (forcibly dissolved later in March) of circulating information which "contains calls for extremism, violence against Russian citizens, mass violations of public order and security, for Russian citizens to participate in public events in violation of currently applicable laws and for a violent overthrow of the constitutional order."

Roskomnadzor said on March 1 that it had restricted access to TV Rain's and Ekho Moskvy's websites the same day at the request of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, "for purposely and systematically publishing materials containing false information about the meaning of the special military operation in Ukraine, including the operation's form, methods used in the conduct of combat actions, numbers of personnel lost by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, bombardments and victims among the civilian population, and calls for organizing mass (public) events in Russian territory." Their pages on Russian social networks were blocked as well.

TV Rain Director General Natalya Sindeyeva said on March 3 that the television channel had suspended its operations.

The Russian Ministry of Justice added TV Rain to the register of foreign-agent media on August 20, 2021.