Russia on Thursday pulled online publishing rights for the country’s most prominent independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, dealing another blow to the country’s crippled media landscape that is dominated by state-controlled press.
The legacy investigative newspaper, whose editor was Dmitry Muratov was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year, has been pushed towards complete closure in recent months.
“The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has ordered a halt to activities of the Novaya Gazeta website,” its editors said in a statement on social media.
They explained the decision was taken following requests from Russia’s state-media watchdog Roskomnadzor, which said the newspaper had violated the country’s controversial “foreign agents” law.
“We have the right to appeal the decision, we will certainly use it,” the paper said on social media.
The decision on Thursday follows rulings earlier this month revoking the newspaper’s right to publish in print.
The restrictions on Novaya Gazeta come shortly after the death of last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who helped in the founding of Novaya Gazeta in the early 1990s.
The paper had already suspended publication in late March until the end of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine, after a series of media restrictions were imposed on coverage of the conflict.
Most of its reporters and editors have left the country.
All main independent media outlets including radio station, Echo of Moscow, and channel Dozhd TV have been shut down in Russia or suspended their operations in the country.
This month a court in Moscow jailed a respected former defence reporter, Ivan Safronov, for 22 years on treason charges for divulging state secrets.
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