Russia labels Deutsche Welle a “foreign agent”

“Another step to attack press freedom and a new attempt to isolate the Russian people from free information,” Deutsche Welle CEO Peter Limbourg reacted.

This Monday, March 28, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice announced that it considers the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) as a “foreign agent”. The corresponding statement is available on the ministry’s website.

As early as February 3, Russian authorities banned DW broadcasts and announced that they would initiate a process that would declare DW a “foreign agent.”

Today’s decision was made “on the basis of documents held by authorized state authorities,” the ministry said in a statement, without providing further details.

“Unfortunately, this new arbitrary decision by the Russian authorities was to be expected. Another step to attack press freedom and a new attempt to isolate the Russian people from free information,” DW CEO Peter Limbourg reacted.

It all “began with the forced closure of our Moscow studio in early February, followed by the blocking of our Russian website in all broadcast languages, the gradual blocking of social media, and now DW’s classification as ‘foreign agent ‘” Limbourg recalled.

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“But none of that stops us from continuing to independently and comprehensively report on Russia and the region from our new studio in Latvia and from Germany. And we will have to work much harder to get around censorship and blockades in the future. This already includes clients. VPN like Psiphon or the Tor browser,” he illustrated.

Christian Trippe, director of DW for Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, for his part, considered that “the Russian government has apparently declared an information war against DW, as announced in early February as part of the retaliatory measures in response to the ban of the broadcaster RT DE”.

However, Trippe assured, “we journalists continue our work and provide reliable information for our target audience in Russia.” (rml)

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