Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Official Accused of 'Game of Thrones' Threat to Activist

A Russian diplomat to the UN Human Rights Council has been accused of threatening a human rights activist with a screenshot from popular television show “Game of Thrones,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The diplomat allegedly sent Florin Irminger, head of advocacy at the Oslo-based Human Rights House Network (HRHN), an anonymous Twitter message in March. The message contained a picture of a bloodied and skinned body from the American television show, along with the words, “our blades are sharp,” the New York Times reported.

Irminger said that he didn't consider the message a physical threat, but that it was a reminder of how Russia treats human rights activists.

Council president Choi Kyong-lim condemned the message during a council session on Monday, calling the message “completely unacceptable.” The diplomat in question has been issued an administrative reprimand.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that their investigation into the incident concluded that the message was “‘basically a joke,’ albeit an unfortunate one,” the New York Times reported.

HRHN has offices in Russia and several other Eastern European countries. On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein urged Russia to change their law current law forcing human rights organizations receiving money from abroad to register as “foreign agents.”

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.