Russia blocks access to Czech Radio website over Jan Palach article

Russia's consumer rights office has blacklisted Czech Radio's Russian-language website due to a 2001 article about Jan Palach.


Written by ČTK
Published on 18.07.2021 17:00 (updated on 18.07.2021)

The Russian office for the protection of consumer rights has blocked Czech Radio's Russian-language website over a 2001 article about Jan Palach.

Czech Radio spokesperson Jiří Hošna calls the move an attack on freedom of speech.

The URL address of the article has now been added to Russia's official list of blocked websites. The decision to blacklist it was made on May 17.

As the Czech Radio website uses the https protocol, the Russian authority could not block just one particular article, but only the whole website, according to OVD-Info.

According to, the Russian authority explained its decision by arguing that the article "Jan Palach and his friends" promotes suicide.

The article commemorated Palach, a 20-year-old Czech student who set himself on fire in the center of Prague in January, 1969 in an attempt to wake Czech people up from lethargy after the Soviet-led military invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Czech Radio has protested against Moscow's step, which Hošna has called an unprecedented case of censorship and an attack on all principles of the freedom of speech.

The case has been noticed by a number of media outlets in both Russia and the Czech Republic. The countries have had tense diplomatic relations recently due to the revelations about a 2014 explosion in Moravia.

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