Novaya Gazeta, a Moscow-based newspaper and website whose editor won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for defending freedom of speech, suspended operations in Russia in March after a censorship law threatened journalists whose reporting on the war in Ukraine was being rejected. from the Kremlin line, as much as 15 years in prison.
Now Russian authorities have taken legal action in an attempt to permanently revoke the news organization’s media license. Novaya Gazeta reported on Thursday.
One of the best-known independent Russian-language publications covering Russia before the invasion, Novaya Gazeta received official warnings in March from the authorities about what appeared to be a formality: the failure to identify individuals who the Russian government considers “foreign agents” as such in two of its articles.
The media regulator of the country, Roskomnadzor, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to revoke the license from Novaya Gazeta. These complaints cited the two March warnings as grounds for action, media reported.
In an online editorial, the news organization vowed to fight the case in court and keep its website online even if it loses its license. “The most important thing is that we are and will be,” the editorial says. “We don’t say goodbye.”
Earlier this month, Russian authorities also blocked the website of Novaya Rasskaz-Gazeta, a new online magazine run by the same team of journalists, for “discrediting” the military, the outlet said.
Dmitry A. Muratov, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for his role in defending freedom of speech in Russia. In June, he auctioned off his medal for $103.5 million and dedicated the proceeds to UNICEF to help Ukrainian children and their families displaced by Russia’s invasion.
In March, Mr. Muratov said the news agency would not publish a newspaper or update its website in Russia until after the war in Ukraine was over, due to Russian censorship of military reporting. “There is no other choice,” he said in an address to readers. “For us, and I know for you, this is a terrible and difficult decision.”