Rights group in Russia shuts down amid government crackdown

by: DARIA LITVINOVA, Linked Push Posted: Jul 18, 2021 / 12:12 PM CDT / Up-to-date: Jul 18, 2021 / 01:57 PM CDT FILE – In this Wednesday, June 9, 2021 file image, Russian law firm Ivan Pavlov arrives to attend a court session soon after speaking to the media at […]

FILE – In this Wednesday, June 9, 2021 file image, Russian law firm Ivan Pavlov arrives to attend a court session soon after speaking to the media at Moscow Courtroom, in Moscow, Russia. A legal rights group in Russia introduced Sunday July 18, 2021, that it was shutting down, citing concern of prosecution of its members and supporters following Russian authorities blocked its web-site for allegedly publishing written content from an “undesirable” corporation. The Crew 29 affiliation of attorneys and journalists specializing in treason and espionage instances and freedom of information and facts challenges stated Sunday that Russian authorities accused it of spreading written content from a Czech non-governmental firm that experienced been declared “undesirable” in Russia. (AP Image/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — A legal rights team in Russia announced Sunday that it was shutting down, citing worry of prosecution of its customers and supporters just after Russian authorities blocked its web site for allegedly publishing content material from an “undesirable” organization.

The Team 29 association of lawyers and journalists specializing in treason and espionage situations and independence of data difficulties said Sunday that Russian authorities accused it of spreading information from a Czech non-governmental group that had been declared “undesirable” in Russia.

The group’s web site was blocked Friday, even even though it turned down the accusations, and its attorneys said they believed the government’s following phase could be to prosecute users and supporters.

“In these ailments, continuation of Team 29’s things to do creates direct and obvious menace to the basic safety of a large variety of men and women, and we cannot overlook that hazard,” the group said, incorporating that it would acquire down all of its on line articles in purchase to keep away from any challenges and that its lawyers would keep on representing their purchasers in a personal capacity.

Crew 29 shutting down arrives as pressure mounts on opposition supporters, impartial journalists and human rights activists in Russia forward of September’s parliamentary election. The vote is extensively seen as an vital section of President Vladimir Putin’s initiatives to cement his rule ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The 68-year-previous Russian leader, who has been in energy for more than two many years, pushed by constitutional alterations past calendar year that would most likely permit him to hold on to power right until 2036.

In recent months, Russian authorities have amplified the strain on unbiased news media, designating two well-liked impartial shops, Meduza and VTimes, as “foreign agents” and outlawing the publisher of the Proekt investigative media outlet, although also listing its journalists as “foreign agents.” VTimes shut down soon immediately after that.

Very last thirty day period, a Moscow courtroom outlawed companies founded by imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by labeling them extremist. The ruling barred people associated with Navalny’s Foundation for Battling Corruption and his sprawling regional community from seeking public workplace. Lots of of Navalny’s allies had prepared to operate for parliamentary seats in Russia’s Sept. 19 election.

Crew 29, which include its distinguished attorney Ivan Pavlov, was involved in defending Navalny’s basis in courtroom. In April, Russian authorities launched a prison circumstance towards Pavlov, who is also symbolizing a former Russian journalist accused of treason in a significant-profile circumstance, accusing him of disclosing information and facts related to a law enforcement investigation.

Elva Zachman

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