Protesters chant “Sokolovsky is not a terrorist,” referring to a YouTube blogger convicted of extremismfor playing Pokemon Go in an Orthodox church.
Alexander Zharov, the head of the federal agency that regulates media and communications, Roskomnadzor, was one of the main targets of the protests, with protesters calling for his resignation, RBC reported.
Demonstrators also demanded fair trials for individuals convicted of sharing content deemed offensive or extremist by state bodies.
In a report published last week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that Russian authorities have clamped down on internet freedoms and introduced “invasive surveillance” online, under the pretext of fighting extremism.
The report criticized Russian authorities for unjustly imprisoning dozens of people based on their activity online and for introducing new laws that “restrict access to information, carry out unchecked surveillance and censor information the government designates as ‘extremist.’”