11 April 2024, 15:44

Volgograd activists demand to punish TV channel for disclosing personal data

The interregional public organization of advocates and lawyers “Initiative 2018” sent an appeal to the UN and the investigating authorities of Russia concerning the disclosure of personal data and the harassment of activists, which was organized by the “Volgograd-1” TV Channel. The activists who were shown in a TV Channel’s report after laying flowers in memory of Alexei Navalny have not yet received any response to their complaints filed to the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) and the Prosecutor’s Office. The activists hope that attracting the attention of international institutions will help stop the bullying.

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that the residents of Volgograd, whose personal data were disclosed on the air of the “Volgograd-1” TV Channel, intend to file complaints to the law enforcement bodies. In particular, Roman Melnichenko, dismissed from the Volgograd State University for his opposition statements, requested investigators to institute a criminal case.

The interregional public organization of advocates and lawyers “Initiative 2018” declared “the inadmissibility of persecution of advocate Roman Melnichenko (his status is now suspended), Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor, and human rights defender.” Activists who signed the statement reported that Roman Melnichenko was twice subjected to harassment: in April 2022 and in March 2024, both times through the local media.

Vyacheslav Poupykin, a lawyer of the Centre for the Protection of Media Rights*, recognized the actions organized by journalists of the “Volgograd-1” TV Channel as “a violation of the rights of the people whose data they disclosed.” At the same time, Vyacheslav Poupykin has explained that public interest is “not banal curiosity about who puts flowers on whose grave,” but it occurs “when the subject of personal data is suspected of committing a crime or offense and his or her identity is important.”

Political analyst Sergey Boiko called the public disclosure of the personal data belonging to the oppositionists, who laid flowers at the monument to the victims of political repression, “a classic attempt to intimidate the people.”

“Here we see elements of harassment and denunciation. The scheme is simple and classic: initially, lists of unwanted people are published in the media, then their employment contracts are terminated, and later, the time comes for political repression,” explained Sergey Boiko. As an example, the political analyst referred to the mass dismissals of Moscow metro employees, who were included in the lists of the Alexei Navalny’s supporters in 2020-2021.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 9, 2024 at 10:00 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: СK correspondent

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