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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comment by UN Human Rights Office Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on Novaya Gazeta

05 September 2022

Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, one of 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winners, speaks with journalists in Moscow, Russia October 8, 2021  © Reuters

Delivered by

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.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani +41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell +41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi

Seif Magango +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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