The Russian journalist Dmitri Murátov, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, has decided to leave the direction of Novaya Gazeta after being declared a foreign agentthe independent newspaper announced today in a statement.
“Muratov categorically disagrees with the decision of the Ministry of Justice and will appeal to the courts,” says the note published on Telegram.
While the judicial proceedings are taking place, Murátov will cease his duties, which will be provisionally exercised by one of his collaborators, Sergei Sókolov.
Novaya Gazeta stresses that its director has been accused of being a foreign agent not for receiving foreign financing, but for “forming a negative opinion about Russia’s domestic and foreign policy”.
“Of course. Because of his opinion and his ideas, ”he points out.
On September 1, the Russian Ministry of Justice declared Muratov a foreign agent, accusing him of participating “in the preparation and dissemination of materials by foreign agents and also used foreign platforms to disseminate opinions aimed at forming a negative attitude towards the domestic and foreign policy.
At the beginning of March 2022 Muratov called for an “unconditional” ceasefire in the war in Ukraine and announced the delivery of the Nobel Peace medal to a foundation to help Ukrainian refugees.
The award was sold in New York at an auction that raised a record amount of $103.5 million, which went to Unicef to help Ukrainian children.
Muratov has also denounced the “genocide” of the independent media in Russiawhere almost 300 headers have been closed.
Muratov recently stressed that more and more Russians want peace, but war is a matter of survival for Putin.
In recent months, the Nobel Prize has participated in the legal defense of the activist Oleg Orlov, one of the leaders of Memorial, who received the Nobel Peace Prize last year, and who is being tried for discrediting the Russian Army.
Novaya Gazeta it was blocked by the Russian authorities in September 2022 after the newspaper suspended its publication in March of that year.
According to a Russian law passed at the end of 2019, from now on Muratov and the Russian media that publish their articles in Russia must classify all their journalistic materials as produced by a “foreign agent”.
Other media declared “foreign agents”
In July, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office included the Latvian and Dutch branches of the Russian TV channel on its list of undesirable organizations Dozhdwhich had already been recognized by Moscow as a foreign agent.
“The decision has been made to recognize the activities of the foreign organizations SIA TV Rain, from Latvia, and TVR Studios BV, from the Netherlands, as undesirable in Russia,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement collected by the Interfax news agency. According to the Russian authorities, both channels “distribute materials from extremist organizations”, “terrorist organizations”, as well as “foreign agents”, which is prohibited by law.
The Prosecutor’s Office argues that these channels, as well as those who finance them, discredit the Russian authorities and law enforcement agencies, while spreading false information about the invasion of Ukraine and providing support to organizations and individuals included in the list of foreign agents. Both are considered branches of the Dozhd television channel, known for its opposition to the Kremlin and President Putin, which was recognized as a foreign agent in August 2021 and subsequently blocked. With this measure, many of its employees and leaders left Russia and broadcast from Europe.
(With information from EFE)