In accordance with the law «On Information», access to the blocked website may be restored. For example, if the owners or editors delete prohibited information. However, Russian media reported that their websites were not unblocked even after the removal of publications.
Blocked media have the right to apply to the court. But today, according to Pavel Chikov, everything depends on the circumstances and there are already media that have lost in the first instance.
Lawsuits, for example, were filed
by Mediazona, Republic, Taiga.Info, 7x7 and Bumaga. The lawsuit of Ekho Moskvy, which tried to challenge its blocking, was rejected
by the court. In June, Alexey Venediktov said
that he planned to go on air again, adding that he had taken legal action to challenge the unjust closure of the radio station.
According to Svetlana Kuzevanova, in practice, blocking is almost always a one-way street. If the website has been blocked entirely, it will be difficult to unblock it. According to the media lawyer, such lawsuits can be filed in only two courts in Moscow located next to the Prosecutor General’s Office and Roskomnazdor, Tverskoy and Tagansky respectively. «Both courts have always had the same judge presiding over all these cases. And all of them were considered as a carbon copy with the refusal to satisfy the claims», Svetlana Kuzevanova said.
Another way, previously available to the media, is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. «Everyone who appealed against the blocking of websites in Russia did it only in order to exhaust all legal remedies within the country, otherwise it is impossible to apply to the ECHR», the media lawyer explained. According to her, decisions of the ECHR were important not only because the court awarded monetary compensation. The strategic goal was that the ECHR would point out to Russia the need to modernize the legislation on website blocking because it did not meet international standards.
«It is clear that the government was not interested in changing the law on blocking at all for political reasons. But nevertheless, the authorities were obliged to respond to the decisions of the ECHR and it was possible for the media to slowly but surely persevere», Svetlana Kuzevanova explained.
On March 15, Russia left the Council of Europe, which also meant the country’s withdrawal from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. If nothing changes, Russia will cease to be a member of the ECHR on September 16, 2022. Until then, the ECHR accepts appeals from Russians. However, the State Duma is already considering
a package of bills on the non-enforcement of the ECHR’s decisions in Russia. «The European Court of Human Rights has become an instrument of political strife against our country in the hands of Western politicians», Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma, said. According to the adopted amendments, the decisions of the ECHR will not be enforceable in Russia after March 15, 2022.