Paris, September 15, 2022 — In response to news reports that the Russian Supreme Court revoked the online license of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper only 10 days after a Moscow court revoked the outlet’s print license, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“By revoking Novaya Gazeta’s online license only days after stripping it of its print license, Russian authorities are seeking to erase nearly 30 years of independent reporting and are robbing the outlet of the right to exist,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in New York. “Authorities must restore Novaya Gazeta’s online and print licenses and let all media outlets work freely.”
Russian state media regulator Roskomnadzor requested the cancelation of Novaya Gazeta’s online license, claiming that the outlet twice failed to mark materials produced by so-called “foreign agents.” The first violation was accidental and corrected after a warning; in the second case, the organization the outlet did not label as a foreign agent was not officially listed as one at the time, according to a report by Novaya Gazeta.
In a statement, the outlet announced plans to appeal the verdict. “This is murder,” Novaya Gazeta chief editor Dmitry Muratov said in court on Thursday, September 15. “You are depriving hundreds of people of jobs. You are depriving readers–there were 27 million in March–of the right to information.”
Outside the court, Muratov called the verdict “media genocide” and said it would prevent Novaya Gazeta reporters from making inquiries to authorities, remove their accreditation status, and add several restrictions to their operations, media reported.
Since Novaya Gazeta was founded in 1993, at least six of its journalists and contributors have been killed in connection to their work, according to CPJ research.