One of the last independent news organisations in Russia, Novaya Gazeta, had its media licence revoked on Monday, thus prohibiting it from continuing to publish. It was charged with failing to produce papers pertaining to a change in ownership in 2006 by the Russian media watchdog, Rozkomnadzor.
In a statement made outside of court, Editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work defending critical news reporting in Russia, declared the decision to be “a political hit job, without the slightest legal basis.” The paper would appeal, he claimed.
Despite the progressive erosion of press freedoms, Novaya Gazeta, a mainstay of the Russian media landscape since its founding in 1993 with funding from the former President and Noble Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev’s.
Novaya Gazette has established itself as Russia’s top investigative news source. It stopped operating in Russia in March after receiving a warning for breaking new legislation that strictly censored media coverage of the conflict in Ukraine. Since then, employees have launched a brand-new internet outlet in Europe that was previously restricted in Russia. Muratov, who is still in Russia, led the burial procession for Gorbachev, a friend and financial supporter, on Saturday.