How far will the crackdown on dissent go?

first_img Reporters Without Borders is stunned to learn that the opposition news websites Grani.ru, Kasparov.ru and EJ.ru are being blocked. The communications regulatory agency Roskomnadzor announced this evening that they “have been added to the unified register of banned content at the request of the prosecutor general’s office of the Russian Federation.”Well-known opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s blog on LiveJournal is also being blocked.“It is clear from the blocking of these sites a day after the dismissal of Lenta.ru’s editor that we are at a turning point for online freedom of information in Russia,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “We call on Roskomnadzor to explain itself and to reverse this outrageous decision.“This new jump in censorship is unfortunately the predictable consequence of the adoption of a law in late December that allows the prosecutor-general’s office and Roskomnadzor to block any content they regard as ‘extremist’ without referring to a judge. We expressed our alarm at the time about the broad and vague character of this concept, which includes calling for unauthorized demonstrations.”Deloire added: “If the Russian constitution still means anything, the authorities must repeal this provision, which took effect on 1 February and which legalizes the most arbitrary censorship.”The Roskomnadzor communiqué said Grani.ru, Kasparov.ru and EJ.ru “are disseminating calls for participation in unauthorized mass actions.” It provided no other details. In an interview for the Gazeta.ru news site, Grani.ru CEO Yulia Berezovskaya said she had not idea what the offending content was. She also said she had received no prior warning or explanation from Roskomnadzor.According to Roskomnadzor, Alexei Navalny’s blog violated his house arrest order. Navalny is charged with embezzlement and, on 28 February, a court prohibited him from leaving his home or using any means for communication. To get round the ban, Navalny said he had asked his wife and colleagues to update the blog on the basis of the notes he gave them.Internet users in several parts of Russia also said this evening that the Echoes of Moscow independent radio station was blocked. The radio station’s editor-in-chief, Alexei Venediktov, said on Twitter that the Akado and Biznessviazholding access providers were blocking it. But for the time being it is not on the unified register of banned content and Reporters Without Borders has not been able to obtain any further information.(Image: Screen capture from Roskomnadzor website) RussiaEurope – Central Asia RussiaEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information News Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing March 13, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 How far will the crackdown on dissent go? Organisation Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown News May 21, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Receive email alerts to go further News Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News May 5, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Russialast_img read more

Valencia LRT under way

first_imgVENEZUELAN transport authority C A Metro de Valencia gave permission on September 4 for Siemens Transportation Systems to begin construction of the city’s US$80m light rail project. Phase 1 of the turnkey package covers the 6·2 km from Parque Recreacional to Avenida Cedeño (DM 97 p57), including eight LRVs to be assembled at Siemens’ plants in Sacramento and Carson, California. Subcontractors include Rail Transit Consultants Inc for interface co-ordination, HKC Inc and Safetran Systems Corp for signalling and train control, Mass Electric Construction Co for communications, and Redondo Construction Corp of Puerto Rico for the trackwork. Financing is being provided by the Royal Bank of Canada, Westdeutsche Landesbank and Bayrische Landesbank. Caracas Metro has awarded a US$89m contract to GEC Alsthom for refurbishment of 378 French-built cars up to 15 years old. The traction controls will be overhauled, an IGBT converter will replace the static convertor for auxiliary supplies, and electric circuit-breakers will be replaced by pneumatic units. GEC Alsthom staff will oversee the work at the metro’s depots, whilst Bombardier Eurorail subsidary ANF Industrie will be responsible for bogie refurbishment. The deal includes technical assistance and staff training from consultants Systra. The first unit is due to be completed by March 1998, after which work will proceed at the rate of two vehicles per month. olast_img read more