Freedom of Speech on the Internet in Russia

IREX Europe held the round-table on Freedom of Speech on the Internet in Russia as a side event to the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum at the Hague in the Netherlands, where invited experts and members of the Forum discussed increasing restrictions on freedom of the Internet in Russia.

The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum is an open platform aimed at promoting cooperation between civil society in Russia and the European Union. Their Annual General Assembly brought together more than 100 EU and Russian civil society actors to the Hague from October 5th-7th to discuss diverse human rights issues.

Recommendations to donors

- Support independent media, giving priority for support to regional community media and media associations, particularly to enable them to protect themselves from website attacks.
- Direct work in order to reach out to a larger scope of audience within the civil population, in addition to supporting target groups.
- Support projects aiming to monitor media legislation in Russia in order to transform regulations into a format that is understandable by all and is in a user friendly language.
- Support legal training projects aiming to assist lawyers in winning court cases in Russia, in order to prevent an increase of the number of cases in front of the European Court of Human Rights.
- To partially compensate costs of legal services for media organisations that are struggling financially and provide other organisations and their lawyers assistance by providing access to collective legal tools.

Recommendations to NGOs and media

- Disseminate best practices to raise awareness on methods of protection on the Internet.
- Encourage anti-corruption measures against journalists who may takes bribes for publishing or not publishing certain information.
- Direct work in order to reach out to a larger scope of audience within the civil population, in addition to supporting target groups.

Recommendation to the Russian Government

- Ensure that the civil discussion is transparent before laws are adopted in order to enable effective understanding of laws passed.



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IREX Europe’s roundtable statement and concluding recommendations for media, NGOs, and donors are available here:

- Russian version:

Word - 95.5 kb

- English version:

Word - 70 kb
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