Apr 9, 2021
The head of the Human Rights Council (HRC) Valery Fadeev said that he considers it useful to oblige journalists to be accredited to cover uncoordinated actions. Such registration, in his opinion, should be accompanied by the receipt of a QR code. The registration of the journalist, according to Mr. Fadeev, will need to be checked after he was "suddenly twisted by the riot police or the National Guard":
“Maybe we need to think over the system: if a journalist goes to an uncoordinated action, then he needs to register. If there is accreditation, if there are QR codes, if a journalist came to this event, he was suddenly twisted by the riot police or the National Guard, if the National Guard reads the QR code and within ten seconds sees that it is an accredited journalist and releases him, then probably , it will be useful, "Fadeev said during an event in Yekaterinburg (quoted by TASS).
According to the federal law on mass media, journalists are accredited by government bodies, organizations and institutions to attend their events. The same law establishes the right of a journalist to attend rallies and demonstrations without registration.
Requirements for journalists covering rallies were tightened in December 2020. They were forbidden to use "means of public expression of collective or individual opinion" and to hide the "sign of a media representative." In January 2021, after rallies in support of politician Alexei Navalny, the Union of Journalists of Russia offered Roskomnadzor a uniform form of badge and vests for journalists. In April, Roskomnadzor approved their parameters.
After the protests at an enlarged meeting of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, the ideas of special registers for journalists covering the actions were discussed. It was also proposed to number press cards with regional codes and to oblige journalists not to approach the security forces.