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Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta banned by Russian court

A Moscow court has revoked the print license of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, effectively banning the outlet from operating inside Russia. Russia's federal censor, Roskomnadzor, first asked the Basmanny District Court to declare the 29-year-old paper's license invalid in July.

According to Nadezhda Prusenkova, a spokesperson for Novaya, the censor’s lawsuit was based on the outlet's alleged failure to provide its charter to the authorities back in 2006. “However, the rule making failure to provide a charter punishable by license revocation only came into effect in 2018,” she said.

In a statement on Monday, the Novaya Gazeta editorial team denied the charges, writing, “The newspaper was killed today. 30 years have been stolen from its employees’ lives. Readers have been deprived of their right to receive information.”

Novaya Gazeta suspended operations on March 28, vowing not to resume work until Russia’s war against Ukraine comes to an end. The decision came after Roskomnadzor issued two warnings against the paper for mentioning “foreign agents” without the appropriate label.

In April, Novaya Gazeta journalists who had left Russia launched a new outlet called Novaya Gazeta Europe. Soon after, the site was blocked at the request of the Russian Attorney General’s Office for allegedly publishing “disinformation” about the war.

In July, Russia-based journalists from Novaya Gazeta launched a magazine called Novaya Rasskaz-Gazeta, but it, too, was blocked by the authorities within days. In August, the journalists behind the magazine were hit with administrative charges for “discrediting” the Russian army.

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