Participants of rally in Magas, October 6, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

25 March 2019, 21:30

Ingush activist accuses law enforcers of Internet blackouts during rallies

Activist Murad Khazbiev requested the court to assess the legality of the Internet and mobile communication blackouts during protest actions against the border agreement between Ingushetia and Chechnya. Activists learned from the "Roskomnadzor" (Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media) that the blackouts took place because of the instructions issued by the law enforcement bodies, reported Andrei Sabinin, an advocate of Murad Khazbiev.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that with the start of mass protests in Ingushetia, residents of the republic complained that the mobile Internet stopped working, although there were no problems in the neighbouring republics.

From October 4 to 17, 2018, Magas hosted a round-the-clock protest action against the agreement on the border with Chechnya. Starting from October 8, rallies were held with the sanction of the authorities.

Murad Khazbiev filed a lawsuit to the Magas District Court with a request to recognize the illegality of the law enforcement bodies' actions that, according to him, led to the Internet blackouts in Ingushetia on June 8, October 4-17, and November 27, 2018, as well as on March 16, 2019. In general, the Internet was cut off during peaceful protests, notes the lawsuit.

When residents of Ingushetia complained about the Internet blackout to the "Roskomnadzor", they were told that mobile operators acted "under the reasoned decision of the law enforcement bodies," reported Andrei Sabinin, an advocate from the "Agora", who represented the interests of Murad Khazbiev. The "Roskomnadzor" refused to disclose the information about what particular bodies made the decision to cut off the Internet and how they motivated that, noted Andrei Sabinin.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 25, 2019 at 04:42 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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