Russia blocks FRANCE 24 sister radio station RFI website

Russia blocks FRANCE 24 sister radio station RFI website

Politics

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File photo of the Radio France Internationale (RFI) logo at Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris.
File photo of the Radio France Internationale (RFI) logo at Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. © KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (AFP)

Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor on Friday blocked access to the website of French radio station RFI for violating a law banning the dissemination of false or extremist information.

Roskomnadzor “did not specify” how the radio station had fallen foul of the law, according to an article posted on the RFI website. The Russian media watchdog only indicated that it had responded to a request from the Russian prosecutor general’s office.

RFI‘s sites, including the French and Russian language sites, have been providing 24-hour coverage of the events in Ukraine “since the start of the Russian offensive on February 24,” the article noted.

The RFI website appeared in Roskomnadzor’s database of blocked websites on Friday and AFP journalists in Moscow were unable to access the station’s English, French or Russian-language websites. 

Russia has accelerated efforts to silence independent media and government opponents of the war in Ukraine, which it calls a “military operation”.

Russian lawmakers recently passed a law introducing up to 15 years in jail for publishing information about the military deemed false by the government.

Authorities have also restricted access to dozens of independent media outlets, also blocking access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Earlier Friday, Russian authorities blocked access to the Russian-language website of the independent news outlet The Moscow Times over its Ukraine coverage.

The Moscow Times, whose original English version was launched in 1992 by Dutch entrepreneur Derk Sauer, said its Russian service was shut down over what “authorities call a false report on riot police officers refusing to fight in Ukraine”.

The English-language website of the publication has not been affected.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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