CPJ alarmed by Russia’s harassment of Dozhd TV

New York, December 7, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Russian authorities to allow Dozhd TV to broadcast without fear of harassment. Today, prosecutors in Moscow carried out an audit of the independent station to check for purported violations of Russia’s laws on extremism, anti-terrorism, labor, and licensing, according to an official notice the station’s general director, Natalia Sindeeva, posted on her personal Facebook page.

“We call on Russian authorities to end the harassment of Dozhd TV and allow the station to work unobstructed,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Dozhd TV provides a vital independent news service to Russia’s citizens, who deserve a plurality of sources of information and opinion.”

According to the prosecutor’s notice, Dozhd was ordered to hand over copies of the rental contract, a list of employees and contributors, salary details, and other internal documents. The prosecutor’s office said it was carrying out the audit after receiving complaints from citizens, according to the notice and news reports. In 2014, Dozhd’s editor-in-chief, Mikhail Zygar, was recognized with CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award.