Dmitry Muratov, one of Russia’s best-known journalists, has been added to the country’s list of foreign agents, less than two years after the Kremlin praised initial reporting that led to him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Muratov, the former editor of the now closed liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta, is also included in the list to update On Friday evening, the Russian Ministry of Justice registered journalists, politicians and activists who Moscow claims are working for enemy states.
The foreign agent designation, which has been used repeatedly on critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin and opponents of his war in Ukraine, means Muratov will have to abide by strict rules on political activity. It also prevents him from participating in public life. Any mention of him in the Russian media or social networks must refer to his status.
according to Human Rights WatchIn Russia, the term “foreign agent” is equivalent to [to] Spy or Traitor”, and was used to “discredit and punish independent voices”.
The decision to accuse Muratov of being subject to undue influence from abroad contradicts the Russian state’s previous assessment of his journalism. After Muratov won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov extended congratulations and He said The longtime editor “consistently acts according to his own values, adheres to those values, and is talented and brave.”
Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with American journalist Maria Ressa “for their efforts to protect freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”
Since the beginning of its increasingly disastrous war in Ukraine, Russia has decimated the country’s independent media and imposed harsh penalties on those it deemed “discrediting Russia’s armed forces”.
Many Russian journalists had to move abroad to continue their work. Muratov’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper was forced to cease operations in Russia in April 2022, weeks after the war began, and has since been forcibly shut down by the state, although it continues to publish online.
Moscow also arrested a reporter for the Wall Street Journal Ivan Gershkovich Since March 29 on charges of espionage, for which no evidence has been presented. US President Joe Biden did it branded The arrest, the first of a reporter accredited in espionage cases since the end of the Cold War, is “completely illegal”.
In August, Politico correspondent Eva Hartog was expelled from Russia after her visa was refused extension.
Earlier this week, the Nobel Foundation faced criticism from Swedish and Ukrainian politicians after it decided to invite Russian ambassadors to this year’s award ceremony.
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