Russia, Novaya Gazeta publication license revoked

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Novaya Gazeta was one of the last free newspapers in Russia and had received the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet another sentence against the freedom of the press.

A Russian court has revoked the publication license for the print edition of Novaya Gazeta. The accusation is of not having presented legal documents but it is clear that it is an attempt to silence independent information. Novaya Gazeta received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021.

A Russian court has revoked the publication license to the paper edition of Novaya Gazeta, the independent Moscow newspaper that last year received the Nobel Peace Prize precisely for its battle in the name of freedom of information, an activity conducted under conditions of repression, censorship and disinformation. For this, the Russian court act represents yet another attempt to silence independent information.

The newspaper had suspended publication in March, after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, following two formal warnings linked to a law that provides up to 15 years in prison for anyone who talks about the conflict in a negative way.

Novaya Gazeta director Muratov attends a freedom of information sit-in in Berlin © Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Novaya Gazeta will appeal

The federal service for the supervision of communications, information technology and mass media “Roskomnadzor” has asked the court of the district of Basmanny, in the Russian capital, to revoke the license of the newspaper, clinging to a technical quibble, that is, arguing that there newspaper management had failed to produce a series of documents after a change of ownership in 2006.

In a statement on its website, Novaya Gazeta said that the sentence “killed the newspaper”. Dmitri A. Muratov, its editor, called the decision “a political success without the slightest legal basis” and said the newspaper would appeal, according to Zona Media, a Russian news site.

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It remained one of the few newspapers to do independent information in Russia

The story of Novaya Gazeta is directly linked to the Nobel Peace Prize. The newspaper, in fact, was born thanks to the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev – recently passed away – who had used his 1990 cash prize (Gorbachev won the Nobel Prize because, with his policy, the end of the Cold War) to help found the newspaper. Three decades later, it came full circle when Muratov auctioned his prize for a value of 103.5 million dollars, allocating the proceeds to Unicef, to help Ukrainian children and their families displaced by the Russian invasion.

When it suspended publication in March, Novaya Gazeta was one of the last major news outlets in Russia to criticize the Kremlin. Muratov stated that Novaya Gazeta would have suspended publication and updating of the site web until the end of the war in Ukraine, due to Russian censorship. “There is no other choice,” she said in a message to readers.

The editorial staff, on the other hand, remained. He has operated on Telegram and other social networks and has launched two editorial projects to continue making his voice heard. But the Russian government blocked them both.

Another independent journalist sentenced to 22 years in prison

Igor Domnikov, Jurij Shchekochikhin, Anna Politkovskaja, Stanislav Markelov, Anastasia Baburova, Natalia Estemirova, Orkhan Dzhemal: sono the names of the Russian journalists killed for having chosen the freedom of the press and for having done their job.

And the censorship machine led by Putin does not stop: a journalist, Ivan Safronov, former correspondent of the two newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti, was sentenced to 22 years in prison based on a two-year trial based on non-existent evidence.

According to BBC Russia’s reconstructions, what had bothered the most was an investigation by Safronov which revealed the negotiations for the sale of new Russian Su-35 fighters to Egypt and which had created many problems for the defense ministries of both. the countries.

Judged guilty of “treason”, Safronov was sentenced to hard prison and solitary confinement. Closed process: a warning, so that all journalists pay attention to what to write.

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