Russian police conducted a house search on Wednesday at the home of the editor-in-chief of a newspaper whose publications were recently categorized as a “foreign agent”.
Roman Dobrohotov, editor-in-chief of the news portal Insider, posted on Twitter this morning that “policemen are knocking” on the door of his apartment. He wrote: “It looks like a raid.”
OVD-Info, a legal aid group that monitors political arrests, said Dobrohotov’s wife called the group’s hotline and reported a police raid before her phone could not be reached. According to OVD-Info, a lawyer went to Dobrohutov’s apartment.
Supporters of the Russian opposition, independent journalists and human rights activists face mounting government pressure ahead of parliamentary elections in September, which are widely seen as an important part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to consolidate power ahead of the 2024 presidential election. In April They beat up three other journalists Authorities after reporting a demonstration by Navalny.
The list of foreign agents recently included The Insider, registered in Latvia, which reported investigations into allegations of corruption and abuse by Russian officials, alleged Russian covert actions in Ukraine and Syria, and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
The Department of Justice operates under a law that designates all NGOs, media outlets, and individuals who receive foreign funding and engage in activities that can be described as political in nature, as foreign agents.
In a comment to the media, Dobrohotov said that The Insider will continue to operate in the usual way, in accordance with Latvian law, and will not comply with the requirements of Russian law on foreign customers.
Russia is also using the law to impose heavy fines on US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty for failing to disclose in its publications that it is a foreign agent. The broadcaster requested the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).