Over the past week an unprecedented level of attention has been received by my YouTube channel, where for several months we have hosted a powerful video documenting torture and abuse of prisoners in Yekaterinburg. For more than 60 days, the controversial video had about 6,500 views, but after a Wall Street Journal article about Lev Ponomarev linked to it, within days there were more than 30,000 views and hundreds of comments. However yesterday I received the following notification in my email inbox:
I cannot help but assume how this censorship has come about, having seen and experienced other coordinated actions online involving the Russian government. Furthermore, there are thousands of videos readily available on YouTube which feature scenes of far more graphic nature than this exposé of Russia’s misconduct. I am in the process of appealing this censorship, given that I believe this is an extremely important issue of international public interest. I am also working on a re-posting of this video in multiple forums. I do encourage those concerned about human rights in Russia to vigorously express their concern over the removal of this video to the YouTube staff. Simply erasing content from the internet does not erase the human rights violations committed by the Kremlin. It is up to us to prove this.