Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

De oorlog van het Kremlin tegen het liberalisme

MOSKOU – Na de terreuraanslagen van 11 september 2001 in de Verenigde Staten werd de zogenoemde “Oorlog tegen de Terreur” ontketend. Maar de door de VS geleide militaire invallen in Afghanistan en Irak waren niet het hele verhaal; veel landen hebben ook het toezicht op hun binnenlandse media en hun gewone burgers opgevoerd. De vrijheid van meningsuiting en de persoonlijke privacy, zo beweerden overheden, moesten worden gekortwiekt in het belang van de veiligheid.

De schade is bijzonder geprononceerd geweest in Rusland, waar anti-terreurmaatregelen dikwijls zijn gebruikt als middel om de stemmen het zwijgen op te leggen van degenen die er onafhankelijke of alternatieve meningen op na houden, met name meningen die kritisch staan tegenover de regering van president Vladimir Poetin. Door de veiligheid als excuus te gebruiken om de mediawetgeving van Rusland, die journalisten expliciet tegen censuur beschermt, aan de wilgen te hangen, heeft de regering de journalistiek aanzienlijk ondermijnd.

Die wetgeving was gebaseerd op het Europees en het internationaal recht, en symboliseerde de overwinning van de democratie in Rusland. Maar de integriteit van de wetgeving is geleidelijk aan geërodeerd door amendementen die de vrijheid van meningsuiting beperken, evenals de mogelijkheden voor journalisten om ongehinderd hun werk te doen, en door de ongelijkwaardige toepassing van bestaande regels.

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