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Russia’s offensive against several journalists whom it describes as “foreign agents”

Hours after Russian independent publisher Dmitry Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Ministry of Justice of Russia It said it added nine journalists and three publications to the list of “foreign agents” in the country.

The Bellingcat research group and the Russian BBC journalist Andrei Zakharov are among those listed.

Novaya Gazeta, the publication of Muratov, nobel de la Paz, is one of the few independent newspapers that has avoided the label of foreign agent.

But the portal said: “We will try to help the people who have been designated as agents [extranjeros], who are being persecuted and forced to leave Russia ”.

The Soviet Union used the term “Foreign agent” to designate political dissidents.

Since then, it has been used to label independent media organizations and NGOs that are considered to be receiving foreign funding.

Who does the list include

Bellingcat, which is registered in the Netherlands, participated in the unmasking of Russian agents accused of carrying out the deadly Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury in 2018.

The list also includes MNews.world, registered in the United States, and the website Caucasus Knot, which offers news about the Caucasus region, already 7×7.

Journalists include:

In response to the decision, the corporation said: “The BBC strongly rejects the decision of the Russian authorities to designate Andrei Zakharov from our Moscow office as’ foreign agent’”.

He said that BBC Russia has been “a vital source of accurate and unbiased news for Russian speakers for 80 years.”

“Our priority right now is to support Andrei and make sure he and his colleagues can continue to report on the country at such an important time.”

The BBC was also singled out in late August, when Russia expelled Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford, refusing to extend her visa.

Change in law

Russia changed the law in 2017, allowing the government to list any foreign media operating in the country as a “foreign agent.”

The law was adopted in retaliation for the Kremlin-backed RT network being asked to register as a foreign agent in the US.

Anyone labeled as a foreign agent must register and provide details of their activities and finances every six months.

Your social media posts should contain a long message stating your “foreign agent” status.

Daniil Sotnikov’s one-line tweet, posted after his new appointment, illustrates the message that journalists and listed organizations should include in their posts.

“Good afternoon, it’s unpleasant, but not the end of the world,” Sotnikov tweeted, and the post is accompanied by a message that reads “THIS MESSAGE (MATERIAL) WAS CREATED AND (OR) DISTRIBUTED BY FOREIGN MEDIA THAT PERFORM THE FUNCTIONS FROM A FOREIGN AGENT “.

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