High fine threatening closure of online Russian news outlet is detrimental to freedom of media, says OSCE media freedom representative
Today, following a court decision to impose an extremely high fine on The New Times online news outlet, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, called on authorities of the Russian Federation to protect freedom of the media and preserve pluralism of opinion in the country as an essential element of an open and democratic society.
On 26 October the Tverskoi District Court of Moscow issued a fine of 22 million 250 thousand rubles (nearly 297 thousand euro) against The New Times and 30 thousand rubles against its chief editor Yevgenia Albats (nearly 400 euro), judging the media outlet had failed to respect financial reporting obligations under the so-called ‘foreign agents’ law. The fine comes after the editor interviewed an opposition politician for a local radio station. According to news reports, the fine may force The New Times to close soon.