Petersburg teacher of the Russian language, action artist and femactivist Daria Apakhonchich , who in December was recognized as an individual – a “foreign agent”, filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation to declare this decision illegal.
The lawsuit was filed with the Leninsky District Court of St. Petersburg, according to Agora’s message to Meduza’s editors. Apakhonchich’s interests are represented by Agora’s lawyer Alexander Peredruk.
Apakhonchich said in the lawsuit that the Ministry of Justice violated the norms of Russian law and international law when it included her in the list of media outlets – “foreign agents”. The activist believes that this violates the principle of equality guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as her right to freedom of expression and respect for private life.
Apakhoncic claims that she never received money and other property from foreign sources in order to create or distribute messages or materials as a media-“foreign agent” – it is on this basis that people can be included in the list of “foreign agents”. She demands that the Justice Ministry prove the opposite in court.
Daria Apakhonchich became one of the first Russian citizens included in the register of media outlets performing the functions of a “foreign agency”. The corresponding decision of the Ministry of Justice became known in December 2020.
At the end of 2019, the State Duma adopted a law that allows individuals to be included in the register of media outlets – “foreign agents”. A person can be assigned this status if he receives any foreign funding and distributes “printed, audio, audiovisual and other messages and materials intended for an unlimited number of people,” including on the Internet.
A person included in the register of “foreign agents” must necessarily create a legal entity with which the Ministry of Justice can interact, as well as label their materials. Administrative liability is threatened for violation .
In December 2020, the State Duma adopted a law allowing to recognize as a “foreign agent” any person who “carries out political activities in the interests of a foreign state” or conducts a targeted collection of information in the field of military, military-technical activities of the Russian Federation.