Russian court revokes license of Novaya Gazeta / Villamedia

Russian court revokes license of Novaya Gazeta / Villamedia
Russian court revokes license of Novaya Gazeta / Villamedia

A Russian court revoked the license of opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta on Monday, Reuters news agency reported.

Last change: September 5, 2022, 11:48 am

According to the news agency, revoking the license effectively means that Novaya Gazeta will be unable to publish within Russia. The lawsuit in the Moscow court was brought by the Russian media watchdog Rozkomnadzor, which believes that the daily does not meet requirements about disclosure about the ownership structure of the newspaper.

“This is a stupid and purely political decision,” editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov told the newspaper’s website on Monday morning. “There are no legal grounds for this decision,” said the editor-in-chief. The newspaper will appeal the decision.

With the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the newspaper moved to Europe, where it now publishes under the name ‘Novaya Gazeta Europe’, in order to circumvent the strict Russian (media) legislation. In the spring of this year, Novaya Gazeta already received a warning from the media watchdog because it would not make it clear in publications that the newspaper would be a ‘foreign agent’.

Novaya Gazeta was for many years one of the few remaining independent and government-critical newspapers in Russia. The newspaper was founded in 1993, thanks in part to the prize money won by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev with his Nobel Peace Prize. Over the years, several prominent newspaper reporters have been murdered. Anna Politkovskaya, who made her name through her investigation into the abuses committed by the Russian army during the war in Chechnya, was found dead in the elevator of her Moscow flat in 2006. Journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin was probably poisoned by the Russian secret service shortly before he wanted to leave for the US in 2003. Journalist Anastasia Baburova was shot in Moscow in 2009. In all cases, the Russian Public Prosecution Service prosecuted several suspects in these murders, but critics say all three were ‘show trials’.

The article is in Dutch

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