Roskomsvoboda lawyers succeeded in lifting the blocking of the Tor Project site

Appellate court remanded the case for a trial to court of first instance, but with the website owner being a party to the proceedings. This means our lawyers pointed out due process violations, that are the grounds to reverse the decision.

Appellate court reversed the decision №2-1-1373/2017 of 18th December 2017 of Saratov district court, under which the website The Tor Project had been blocked.

The appellate court session held online, was attended by the media lawyer of Roskomsvoboda, attorney Ekaterina Abashina, who told us the details. According to her, since the decision of Saratov District Court has been reversed, then, torproject.org should be unblocked.

“We had 2 key submissions,” says Ekaterina Abashina. – First one, is that, in 2017, the court of first instance did not summon The Tor Project Inc., that is an absolute basis for setting the decision aside, since the decision to block the site affected the rights and obligations of its owner.”

The second submission is that Russian legislation does not contain any general prohibition on the dissemination of information related to VPN technologies, anonymizers etc. “At the same time, the public prosecutor, as a plaintiff in the case, did not submit a written answer to the appeal, but objected viva voce to the submissions of the appeal in a general and concise manner. Roskomnadzor, as a third party, filed a written answer to the appeal (asserting that the court has an unrestricted power to recognize any information as prohibited)”, says the Roskomsvoboda media lawyer.

As Abashina specifies, the appellate court upheld the complaint, reversed the decision, but remanded the case for a new trial, with the site owner being a part of the proceedings:

“It means, that the due process violations, that we pointed out in our first submission, were the reason for the decision to be reversed”.

“I think, the case is likely to be returned to the court of first instance within a month and we will continue the examination of our second submission on the absence of any legal prohibitions on dissemination of information or technologies like Tor ” sums up the media lawyer.

 

UPD 20.05.2022: The Tor Project trial has been set for May 26.

It will be held in Saratov District Court of the Saratov Region (Dubki settlement). The court press service has notified the media lawyer of Roskomsvoboda, attorney Ekaterina Abashina about this today.

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