LONDON: On Thursday, Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor filed a lawsuit demanding Novaya Gazeta’s license be permanently revoked.
“Russia’s censorship agency Roskomnadzor has demanded that Novaya Gazeta’s certificate of registration be declared invalid,” the newspaper said in a statement.
“Roskomnadzor asked the court to declare the print media outlet Novaya Gazeta’s license invalid due to the editorial office not providing its editorial statute within the timeframe established by the law on media,” the agency added.
Novaya Gazeta, one of the last independent media outlets in the country, decided to move its operations earlier in March after being forced to take down from its website some of the agency’s coverage of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
In February, the newspaper, headed by Editor-in-Chief and Nobel prize winner Dmitry Muratov, moved its operation to Riga in Latvia and launched the newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe. Russia’s media regulator has blocked that website inside Russia as well.
As part of its effort to control media coverage in the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moscow introduced a new law that criminalizes the dissemination of “false” information that “discredits the armed forces.”
This move caused several independent media outlets in the country to move their operations or stop them entirely, including a radio station and TV channel.
Last week, the website of the magazine Novaya Rasskaz-Gazeta, also produced by Novaya Gazeta staff, was taken down by Roskomnadzor for allegedly “discrediting the Russian armed forces.”
The agency announced it would dispute the decision in court.
“Russian legislation requires strict compliance with measures aimed at preventing the dissemination of prohibited and unreliable information. In the context of the information war unleashed by the West against our country, the protection of Russian citizens from hazardous materials should be a priority not only for Russian government agencies but also for the owners of the media and internet resources,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement on Thursday.