The Norwegian online newspaper “The Barents Observer“Wants to drag the Russian media regulator to an international court.
Since the Russian authorities have blocked the Internet newspaper for their readers in Russia since the beginning of 2019, the publisher of the newspaper has now lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg.
“Russia is blocking an independent medium outside Russia that does independent journalism,” the publisher, Atle Staalesen, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Tuesday.
According to Russia, the reason for the blockade is an article about a gay man from Sweden. In an interview he spoke of mental health problems and suicide attempts.
According to the Barents Observer, the Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor is of the opinion that the article encourages suicide. This would violate Russian law. This is the only reason why the online newspaper has not been available in Russia since February 2019.
“Violation of freedom of the press”
The newspaper initially took legal action against the decision in Russia – unsuccessfully. Now she hopes the European Court of Human Rights will take the matter up. In their view, Russia is violating Article 10 of the European Convention: freedom of the press.
According to its own statements, “Barents Observer” reports comprehensively in its English and Russian articles on the development of Russian society, politics and the economy. It is based in the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes, near the Russian Kola Peninsula.