A court in Moscow has fined the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and its editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov for violating the country’s laws on foreign agents, which require publications to take note when referring to a designated foreign agent.
The sentence comes just one month after Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Sweden for “efforts to protect freedom of expression”.
The Moscow District Court in Basmanny sentenced Muratov and the newspaper a total of three times, with the editor-in-chief fined 12,000 rubles ($ 164) and the store 120,000 rubles ($ 1,647).
The sanctions came in response to Novaya Gazeta’s refusal to note that Alexey Navalny’s affiliated organizations, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and Doctor’s Alliance, had been appointed as foreign agents by the Ministry of Justice.
According to Russia’s legislation on foreign agents, adopted in 2012, organizations are required 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 should also be noted.
Novaya Gazeta is not the only publication that has been the subject of foreign agent legislation in recent times. On Wednesday, RBK editor-in-chief Pyotr Kanaev revealed that he had been charged with five crimes for unmarked 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 violations of the law since the beginning of 2021.