A Russian court on Monday revoked the newspaper Novaya Gazeta of its media license, prohibiting de facto that the publication operates within Russia, according to the Reuters news agency. The daily, critical of Vladimir Putin, was accused of failing to provide documents related to a 2006 change of ownership in a lawsuit brought by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator.
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Novaya Gazeta He had already suspended his publications on March 28 after receiving several warnings from Roskomnadzor for reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The newspaper, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitri Muratov, launched a European edition days later, independent of the Russian edition, “both legally and in practice.”
“This is a malicious and purely political decision, it has no legal basis,” has said Muratov this Monday after hearing the news. The medium has already announced that it will appeal the decision.
Novaya Gazeta has been subject to legal persecution for more than half a year, with the blocking of its digital version and fines for spreading “fake news” and “abusing press freedom”.
This Tuesday, the Russian Justice will decide on the demand of the Roskomnadzor to invalidate the registration of the magazine supplement of Novaya Gazeta. Later, on September 15, the Supreme Court of Russia will decide on the banning of the activities of the newspaper’s website, reports the Russian agency Interfax.
Novaya Gazetato whose foundation the recently deceased Mikhail Gorbachev contributed, had stopped reporting on the Russian military campaign after the approval of a law that punishes with serious fines and up to 15 years in prison the dissemination of “false information” about the Russian Army.
It is the newspaper where Anna Politkovskaya, the investigative journalist murdered in 2006, published, and where five other reporters murdered since 2000 worked. Muratov himself was attacked on a train leaving Moscow this spring.
Following the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian authorities have forced the closure of the other two media outlets most critical of the Kremlin: the Echo of Moscow radio station and the TV Rain television channel.