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Moscow City Court recognizes ban of Telegram in Russia as legal

On April 13, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court ruled to block access to Telegram in Russia

MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court on Thursday recognized blocking of messenger Telegram on the territory of Russia as legal, TASS correspondent reported from the court.

"The decision of the first instance court is to be left unchanged, complaint of the representative of Telegram - without satisfaction," the judge said. Thus, the court’s decision came into effect.

Telegram plans to appeal to the Presidium of the Moscow City Court against the decision to block the messenger, the legality of which was recognized on Thursday by the appellate instance, representative of the messenger Ramil Akhmetgaliyev told TASS.

"We will use the opportunities for appeal, the next cassation instance is the Presidium of the Moscow City Court," the lawyer said.

Akhmetgaliyev explained that after the Presidium, a complaint will be filed with the Supreme Court, which is necessary to exhaust the possibilities for appealing in Russia. "After that, a complaint will be filed with the European Court of Human Rights, which has already become interested in this case and has requested a copy of the decision of the Moscow City Court issued today," he added.

Earlier, Moscow’s Tagansky court on April 13 sustained the Russian telecom watchdog’s demand for blocking access to the messenger Telegram for failing to share with the federal security service FSB the encryption codes for reading users’ messages. Communication operators launched blocking procedures on April 16.

In late May, head of Russia’s telecom and media watchdog Alexander Zharov told TASS as many as 15-40% of users had issues with the Telegram messaging service, while about 25% of advertisements had been withdrawn from Telegram since it was banned in Russia. However, Telegram has not been fully banned in Russia, he said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).