Wikipedia challenges Russian order to suppress information about war in Ukraine | News | DW

The foundation that owns Wikipedia announced on Monday that it has filed an appeal against a Moscow court’s ruling fining it five million rubles ($88,000, €83,260) for refusing to remove related information. to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Wikimedia Foundation’s appeal argues that people have a right to truthful information about the conflict.

The Moscow court said the fine was for what it incorrectly described as “disinformation” in Russian-language articles focusing on what Moscow recognizes as a “special military operation”.

Why did the Moscow court fine Wikipedia?

The Wikipedia articles deemed dubious by the court cover such sensitive topics in Russia as war crimes committed by Russian forces in Bucha and beyond, as well as the invasion itself, which Russia calls a “special military operation”.

Following a severe crackdown on Russian media, which includes a ban on accurate reporting of the war, Wikipedia remains one of the few sources of factual information available to the Russian public.

In its decision, the lower court said that the information published on Wikipedia “poses a risk of mass public disorder in Russia”.

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, has filed a lawsuit against Wikipedia, accusing the user-generated and edited encyclopedia site of providing prohibited information.

What is the basis of Wikipedia’s appeal?

In a statement, the Wikimedia Foundation said: “The information at issue is fact-based and verified by volunteers who continually edit and improve articles on the site; its removal would therefore constitute a violation of the privacy rights of individuals. freedom of expression and access to knowledge.

Stephen LaPorte, the foundation’s associate general counsel, added: “The government is targeting information that is vital to people’s lives in times of crisis.”

The Wikimedia Foundation is headquartered in San Francisco, California. In its appeal, the foundation argues that the Russian court has no jurisdiction over the site, which is available in more than 300 languages ​​worldwide.

The appeal was filed on June 6, but details were released on Monday.

Reuters news agency contributed to this report

Edited by: Wesley Dockery

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