The Kremlin views considers the Internet as the main “threat to its well-being and stability,” a leading Russian NGO reports, and Lyudmila Alekseyeva (left), the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, notes Paul Goble’s Window on Eurasia:
Alekseyeva, 85, said she was “grateful” for this nomination but said she did not “particularly believe” that she would win the prize “because there are many candidates. Among them are many worthy people, and [she said she was] not sure that [she has] a serious chance.”
Instead, she talked about the difficulties she and other human rights organizations face in the Russian Federation as a result of the 2012 law requiring that they declare themselves to be foreign “agents,” a word she pointed out that in Russia is equivalent to “spies,” if they accept assistance from abroad.
“Alekseyeva’s effort remain contemporary and needed in a Russia where some in positions of power seek to circumscribe the universality of human rights even as they work to undo the gains made since the collapse of communism,” said US Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, who heads the Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, in nominating the veteran dissident.
She “continues her life’s vocation of holding a candle to the darkness and inspiring a new generation of activists to defend the freedom and democracy that is their birthright,” he added.
Russia’s government considers the Internet to be the main “threat to its well-being and stability,” a leading Russian NGO reports.
The past year saw “an increasing number of cases” of state-imposed restrictions on Internet usage, according to the annual report of the Agora Inter-Regional Human Rights Organization.
Damir Gaynutdinov and Pavel Chikov, the report’s authors refer to “the growth by an order of magnitude of the number of proposals for regulating the Internet, not one of which contained a guarantee of freedom but rather were directed exclusively at increasing control … and new forms of censorship.”
The report notes with regret that “not a single organization represented in the Internet community in Russia is speaking out clearly and in a principled fashion in defense of the freedom of use and dissemination of information on the Net.”
“The ‘ostrich-like’ strategy of Internet business and Internet community,” Agora suggests, “is explained by their direct … or indirect … dependency on the Russian authorities.”
Hat tip: Paul Goble’s Window on Eurasia.
Agora and the Moscow Helsinki Group are grantees of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group.