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Russia's Media Regulator Requests YouTube Block Navalny's Channel, Ally Says


Navalny ally Lyubov Sobol said that the media regulator's request is illegal.

Russia's media regulator Roskomnadzor has requested YouTube block the Navalny Live channel of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.

Navalny associate Lyubov Sobol said on her Twitter account on July 30 that the channel, along with her personal YouTube channel, had been added to Roskomnadzor’s registry of banned materials.

Sobol stated that Roskomnadzor's request that was filed with YouTube in recent days is illegal because a June 9 court decision to ban organizations linked to Navalny as extremist groups had not come into force because the court's decision is being appealed.

According to Sobol, Roskomnadzor can only ask YouTube to block some specific programs on the channels, but not the whole channels because the ban isn't final.

Roskomnadzor has been blocking Navalny’s website -- navalny.com -- since July 26.

A Moscow City Court last month ruled in favor of a prosecutor's motion to declare groups related to Navalny as extremist. The move has prevented those associated with Navalny and his network of regional offices across Russia from seeking public office. It also carries possible lengthy prison terms for activists who have worked with the organizations, a move seen by critics as a thinly veiled attempt to scare off potential opposition candidates.

Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most vocal domestic critic, is serving a 2 1/2 year jail sentence for parole violations he says were trumped up. His jailing has strained Russia's relations with the West, which has demanded that he be freed and criticized the extremism ruling.

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