StatementsOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Comment by UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on Novaya Gazeta
05 September 2022
UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani
We are deeply concerned by the court’s decision in Moscow to revoke the licence of Novaya Gazeta, a respected national newspaper whose editor-in-chief received the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The court found that the newspaper had repeatedly failed to abide by foreign agent legislation requirements.
We have repeatedly expressed our concern about the foreign agent law and its chilling effect on the free exercise of civil and political rights. We note that it has often been invoked in a manner inconsistent with human rights law to limit or deny the exercise of the rights to free expression, peaceful assembly and association, among others.
The judgment against Novaya Gazeta is yet another blow to the independence of Russian media whose activities have been further compromised by legal restrictions and increased State controls imposed following the Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine.
We recall that any admissible restriction to the right to freedom of opinion and expression must conform to the strict tests of necessity and proportionality. Russian authorities should refrain from applying measures which stifle reporting on serious issues of legitimate public interest and allow debate of diverse and plural voices, in the media, in line with international standards.
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