The Russian Supreme Court on Thursday revoked the broadcasting license of the website of the media Novaya Gazeta announced the latter, a new blow against this bastion of investigative journalism that has criticized the intervention in Ukraine.
On his Telegram account, Novaya Gazeta reported that the Supreme Court had upheld a complaint by the Russian media watchdog, Roskomnadzor. The newspaper’s website provides free access to the archives and investigations published by Novaya Gazeta.
The newspaper has indicated that it will appeal. If the decision is upheld, it does not say whether this will mean a closure of the website, or only a ban on publishing new journalistic content.
This decision is part of three complaints filed at the end of July by Roskomnadzor and approved one after the other by the Russian justice.
At the beginning of September, a Moscow court revoked the license of the paper version of the newspaper, then that of a new magazine launched in Russia by Novaya Gazeta.
In fact, the newspaper does not appear since late March in the country, when he had decided to suspend its publication for fear of reprisals, in the midst of repression of critics of the attack in Ukraine.
But in recent weeks, the media site has resumed the publication of content. In early August, the editorial staff of Novaya Gazeta has also launched a new site, Novaya.mediawhich allows to read anonymously its contents in Russia.
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Dmitry Muratov, was co-recipient in 2021 of the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the Supreme Court hearing, Muratov denounced “the murder” of his newspaper, according to his words quoted by Novaya Gazeta. According to him, this measure will deprive Russian readers of the “right to information”.
According to Novaya Gazetathe Supreme Court ordered the revocation of its website license on the grounds that it had mentioned organizations declared to be “foreign agents” without explicitly mentioning that they had this status.
In Russia, dozens of organizations and individuals have been declared “foreign agents” and their status must be systematically mentioned in any publication, on pain of sanctions.
The pressure against the independent media was already building, but the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine since February has accelerated sharply. Dozens of media websites have been blocked and journalists have fled the country en masse.
On September 5, former Russian journalist Ivan Safronov, a recognized expert on defense issues, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for “treason” in a case he believes was revenge for his work.