The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called upon Russian authorities to end their “harassment” of independent television channel TV Rain (Dozhd).
“We call on Russian authorities to end the harassment of Rain TV and allow the station to work unobstructed,” said Nina Ognianova, CPJ’s programme coordinator for Europe and Central Asia.
Yesterday Russian authorities launched an investigation into alleged extremism at TV Rain, demanding that the channel submit to an audit to check its compliance with anti-extremism laws, as well as labour and licensing regulations.
According to the procurator’s notice, the audit was carried out “on the basis of complaints by citizens”, general director of TV Rain Natalia Sindeyeva posted on her online social network profiles. The exact content of these alleged complaints have not been reported.
On the same day it became known that TV Rain, together with newspaper Novaya Gazeta, had helped Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation to investigate a business belonging to the sons of Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. Mr Zygar stated, however, that he had no firm evidence to connect this with the investigation into TV Rain.
Ms Ognianova also noted that the channel provides a “vital independent news Russian citizens, who deserve a variety of sources of information and opinion”. The Committee also highlighted that in 2014 the chief editor of TV Rain Mikhail Zygar received an award for press freedom from the CPJ.
Source: Lenta (in Russian)