Rus­sians march against state in­ter­net crack­down

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Around 1,000 peo­ple marched through cen­tral Moscow yes­ter­day to protest against the gov­ern­ment’s harsh leg­isla­tive con­trols on the in­ter­net. Demon­stra­tors at the rally, which was au­tho­rised by city author­i­ties, shouted slo­gans in­clud­ing “No to cen­sor­ship, no to dic­ta­tor­ship!” and “Down with the po­lice state!” Some adapted a pop­u­lar slo­gan from op­po­si­tion ral­lies against Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s rule, shout­ing “Rus­sia with­out Putin and cen­sor­ship!” Po­lice said that around 800 peo­ple at­tended the protest, which was or­gan­ised by Par­nas op­po­si­tion party, headed by for­mer prime min­is­ter Mikhail Kasyanov. An AFP jour­nal­ist es­ti­mated the turnout at 1,000 to 1,500.

OVD Info web­site, which mon­i­tors de­ten­tions of po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists, said three had been de­tained, one for giv­ing out leaflets pro­mot­ing op­po­si­tion leader Alexei Navalny. Pavel Ras­su­dov, 34, the for­mer head of the Pi­rate Party cam­paign group, said at the march that “re­stric­tions on the in­ter­net be­gan in 2011,” as the op­po­si­tion to Putin held mass ral­lies in Moscow. “The author­i­ties re­alised the In­ter­net was a tool for mo­bil­i­sa­tion, that it brings peo­ple out onto the streets,” Ras­su­dov said.

An­other marcher, Lyud­mila To­porova, 56, said she came to the rally be­cause “Free­dom is the most im­por­tant thing in life. That’s why I’m here.” Rus­sia in re­cent years has moved to im­pose re­stric­tions on in­ter­net use, black­list­ing web pages for ex­trem­ist con­tent and pros­e­cuted a grow­ing num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als for post­ing on­line. Since Jan­uary 1, in­ter­net com­pa­nies have been re­quired to store all users’ per­sonal data at cen­tres in Rus­sia and pro­vide it to the author­i­ties on de­mand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.