Russia’s Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare blocked the Russian website of Czech Radio (Český rozhlas) because of an article about Czech martyr Jan Palach from 2001. According to Czech Radio, the entire website of its broadcast in Russia is not available.
The URL address (https://ruski.radio.cz/yan-palah-i-ego-posledovateli-8037218) now appears in the official Russian list of blocked sites. The details only state that the decision to include the site in the register was taken on May 17 this year.
According to the information obtained by the iRozhlas.cz server, the Russian authority justified the restriction of access by saying that the article, entitled Jan Palach and his followers, promotes suicide. The text recalled the act of 20-year-old Palach, who burned himself in the center of Prague in January 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation of what was then Czechoslovakia.
Czech Radio objected to Moscow’s move, and spokesman Jiří Hošna called the blockade of the website unprecedented censorship and an attack on all the principles of freedom of expression.
The case was noted by several members of the Russian media. Because the broadcasting sites use the HTTPS protocol, the office could not block only one specific material, but the entire website, such as the OVD-Info server, for example.
Title image: A man walks past an ads poster at an Internet devices shop in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)