Violent Protests Against Media in Russia, Three JournalistsArrested - Moscow police on Wednesday arrested three journalists demonstrating in front of Russia's Ministry of Justice against the authorities' recent crackdown on independent media, according to the independent Russian television channel Dozhd.
Irina Dolinina, Alesya Marokhovskaya and Polina Uzhvak from the Vazhniye Istorii media office came to the ministry to protest the recent labeling of several independent media offices – including Dozhd and Vazhniye Istorii – as “foreign agents.”
The designation carries strong, discreditable connotations and implies additional government oversight.
The three journalists demanded the authorities remove a law that would allow media and journalists to be labeled as "foreign agents."
They carried a small banner that read “There are no foreign agents, there are journalists,” as well as another banner explaining the disclaimer or disclaimer that media designated as “foreign agents” must add any content they produce and must disclose their status.
Independent media, journalists, opposition supporters and human rights activists in Russia are facing increasing pressure ahead of parliamentary elections due on September 19, which are widely seen as a key part of President Vladimir Putin's efforts to strengthen his power before the next presidential election in 2024.
The surge of pressure has sparked demonstrations in Moscow. About two weeks ago, 12 journalists were briefly detained after protesting the "foreign agency" law in front of the offices of Russia's FSS Federal Security Service. A smaller demonstration took place in the Russian capital last Saturday (4/9).
The Kremlin denies that it has restricted press freedom and insists that the designation of "foreign agents" does not prohibit the operation of media offices.