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Nobel-Winning Russian Journalist To Challenge ‘Foreign Agent’ Designation

Dmitry Muratov, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and editor-in-chief of the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, attends an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia September 22, 2022.(photo credit: EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/REUTERS). 

Nobel Prize-winning Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov will mount a legal challenge to try to overturn his designation as a “foreign agent” by the authorities in Russia, Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper he edits, said on Monday.

Russia’s justice ministry on Friday added Muratov, a veteran editor and co-laureate of the 2021 Nobel peace prize, to the growing list of people it has formally labeled “foreign agents” – a designation used to stigmatize and complicate the life of people it deems to be working against Russian state interests.

It said Muratov, who sold his Nobel medal at auction to help Ukrainian child refugees, had “created and disseminated material (produced by) foreign agents and used it to spread negative opinions of Russia’s foreign and domestic policies on international platforms.”

Novaya Gazeta, which is famous for its investigations which have sometimes taken aim at the Kremlin government policy and top officials, said on Monday Muratov would temporarily step aside from his role as editor-in-chief in order to challenge his designation through the courts.

Muratov categorically disagrees with the decision of the Ministry of Justice and is filing a lawsuit,” Novaya Gazeta said in a statement.

At his own request, the editorial board is suspending Dmitry Muratov as editor-in-chief for the duration of the legal proceedings. Sergei Sokolov has been appointed acting editor-in-chief.” TJP

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