MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s telecoms watchdog said on Thursday it blacklisted the LiveJournal blog of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and several other independent websites.
The anti-Kremlin activist, who is under house arrest, is forbidden from leaving his residence – an apartment in the Moscow suburbs – and from using the Internet, telephone or any other means of communication with the world outside of his family, lawyers and police investigators until April 28.
“The functioning of this page violates a court ruling establishing terms of confinement for a citizen who is under criminal investigation,” telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor said in a statement.
Navalny, who played a leading role in mass street protests against Russian leader Vladimir Putin in the winter of 2011-2012, is under investigation together with his brother Oleg for allegedly embezzling money from cosmetics company Yves Rocher.
He is also serving a five-year suspended sentence for an embezzlement conviction in a separate case that he claims was fabricated in retribution for his opposition activities.
Roscomnadzor also blacklisted independent website grani.ru, opposition website Kasparov.ru and the online newspaper Yezhednevny Zhurnal for “inciting users to engage in unlawful activities and take part in mass rallies that are in breach of the law.”
“Telecommunication companies have been ordered to immediately restrict access to all these resources,” the watchdog said.
A 2012 law allows Russian state agencies to block, without a court order, websites they deem to be promoting illegal content.