Russian Justice Ministry Reveals Home Addresses of 'Foreign Agents' in Controversial Move

Written by Jeppe W

Jan.10 - 2024 9:51 AM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons

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In a move that has sparked significant controversy, the Russian Justice Ministry has published the home addresses of four individuals it has declared "foreign agents." This action, which has raised serious privacy and safety concerns, was part of a document titled "Plan for conducting scheduled inspections of foreign agents for 2024," released on the ministry's website.

The individuals whose addresses were exposed are blogger Nikolai Sobolev, voting rights activist Sergey Piskunov, and journalists Ekaterina Lushnikova and Denis Konstantinov.

As of Wednesday morning, Moscow time, the document was still accessible on the ministry’s website, raising questions about the intent and implications of this disclosure.

Maxim Olenichev, a lawyer from the human rights group Department One, spoke to The Insider about the legal ramifications of this incident. He emphasized that the publication of personal home addresses violates Russian privacy law. Furthermore, he noted that using an official position to expose people's private information could be punishable by up to four years in prison under Russian law.

This development is particularly alarming given the sensitive nature of the "foreign agent" label in Russia, a designation that has been used increasingly in recent years to target journalists, activists, and others who are seen as dissenting from the government line. The publication of personal addresses not only infringes on individual privacy rights but also potentially puts these individuals at risk of harassment or worse.

The Justice Ministry's decision to make such information public is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by those labeled as "foreign agents" in Russia. It underscores the broader issues of privacy, freedom of expression, and state power in a country where the government has been tightening its grip on civil society and the media.

As the situation unfolds, there are growing calls from human rights advocates and legal experts for the Russian government to respect privacy rights and ensure the safety of all its citizens, regardless of their political views or activities.

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