(Moscow, April 30, 2018) – Russia’ blocking of the messaging service Telegram is unjustified and has worsened the government’s widespread assault on privacy and freedom of expression online, Human Rights Watch said today. Twenty independent human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, issued a statement on April 30, 2018, condemning the Russian authorities’ actions.
Russia should stop blocking Telegram, and internet companies should resist any orders by Russian authorities to facilitate the action, the groups said. The United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other intergovernmental organizations should publicly challenge Russia’s actions in order to defend the rights to freedom of expression and privacy both online and-offline.
“Blocking millions of IP addresses in an effort to block Telegram is part of the Russian government’s attack on internet freedom,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This