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13 Nov 2023

Russia: Closed Telegram channel reportedly informs police about Muslim gatherings, leading to forced conscription incl. of migrants; Telegram did not respond

In November 2023, the Resource Centre invited Telegram to respond to an Al Jazeera report regarding the forced conscription of Muslims in Russia. Al Jazeera reports a closed Telegram channel with 141,000 subscribers, “Zov”, routinely informs Russian police about Muslim gatherings. The channel is led by two identified individuals, one of whom works for a television channel whose owner has been sanctioned over sponsorship of separatists in the Donbas, Ukraine. The channel also reportedly covers raids, detentions and deportations, part of a broader xenophobic campaign against mostly Muslim labour migrants.

We invited Telegram to provide information on actions the company is taking to address these concerns and mitigate the risks associated with the use of its social media platform, especially to disclose information on its protocols to detect and block channels that spread or facilitate xenophobic abuse. Telegram did not respond.