By Jonny Tickle
A Moscow court has fined Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and its editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov for breaking the country’s foreign agent laws, which require publications to note when a designated foreign agent is referenced.
The penalty comes just a month after Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Sweden for “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.”
Moscow’s Basmanny District Court penalized Muratov and the newspaper a total of three times, with the editor-in-chief being fined 12,000 rubles ($164) and the outlet 120,000 rubles ($1,647).
The penalties came in response to Novaya Gazeta refusing to note that Alexey Navalny-linked organizations, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and the Doctor’s Alliance, had received foreign-agent designation from the Ministry of Justice.
According to Russia’s foreign-agent legislation, passed in 2012, organizations are obliged to mark all their media with a disclosure noting that the statement comes from a foreign agent. Furthermore, whenever any publication refers to a party with the designation, it must also be noted.
Novaya Gazeta isn’t the only publication to be targeted by foreign-agent legislation in recent times. On Wednesday, RBK editor-in-chief Pyotr Kanaev revealed that he had been charged with five criminal offenses for unlabeled references to foreign agents, as well as extremist and terrorist organizations.
According to Mediazona, also a foreign agent, 259 administrative cases have been filed in Moscow courts for violating the law since the start of 2021.
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