In February 2019, Internet access to The Barents Observer, an independent Norwegian newspaper, was blocked in Russia. The reason for this was the editorial board’s refusal to delete an article about Dan Eriksson, a Sámi person, which had raised some important issues, such as rejection of homosexuality, discrimination against indigenous peoples, and the need to overcome taboos. The editor of The Barents Observer Thomas Nielsen explained the right to publish the article the following way:
“This is an important story. The role of the media is to give a tribune to people whose feelings have been suppressed or not acknowledged. This is a story about a brave man. We are proud to publish the interview prepared by Arjeplognytt.”
Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” had supported the appeal against the illegal restriction of freedom of speech in courts of all levels in Russia, and in August 2021 upheld a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against violation of Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights (freedom of the media, expression, dissemination of information), as well as Article 13 in conjunction with Article 10 (right to an effective remedy). The ECtHR has recently registered the complaint under number 43551/21.
Photo: Atle Stolesen /thebarentsobserver.com