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Russian media watchdog sends new inquiry to Facebook amid Chechen head’s accounts blocking

In late December 2017, Kadyrov’s Facebook and Instagram pages were disabled

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. The Russian watchdog Roskomnadzor has sent an additional inquiry to the Facebook management, asking to clarify reasons behind the blocking of Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram, because the answer to the first inquiry did not provide an insight into this issue, Roskomnadzor deputy head Vadim Subbotin told reporters on Thursday.

In late December 2017, Kadyrov’s Facebook and Instagram pages were disabled. Later Roskomnadzor sent an inquiry to the Facebook management on the reasons for blocking Kadyrov’s accounts. The Facebook press service explained that the accounts had been blocked because Kadyrov had been put on the US sanctions list.

"They answered [to the first inquiry - TASS] that there is some US law under which they had to block the Chechen head’s accounts, which is an egregious case on the part of Facebook for us. So, there is no explanation of the reasons for us. I sent them an additional letter the same day or the next day, asking about which law and what real grounds and norms of this law made it possible for Facebook to disable Kadyrov’s account. They are still silent," Subbotin said.

"We will be searching for some legal grounds and conducting negotiations with them. First, we should wait for their answer; the next move rests with them," he added.

The Facebook delegation’s visit

Subbotin also confirmed the Facebook delegation’s intention to visit Russia in early February to discuss issues related to execution of Russian law. "This will be February, within the first 10 days of the month; I cannot name the exact date yet," Subbotin said. He added that the issue of blocking Russian users’ accounts will be discussed at the meeting.

According to earlier reports, Roskomnadzor and Facebook representatives are due to meet in early February, and the watchdog intends to raise the issue of blocking Russian users’ accounts.

Roskomnadzor head Alexander Zharov earlier reported that Facebook’s management in charge of cooperation with Russia confirmed the intention to visit the country in early 2018 for negotiations on execution of Russian law.