Latvia revokes broadcasting licence of Russian opposition media network

Latvia revokes broadcasting licence of Russian opposition media network
Photo: Mareks Steins - Unsplash

Der Spiegel – Latvia has revoked the broadcasting licence of the independent Russian television station Dozhd, also known internationally as TV Rain.

The decision to remove the licence was announced on Twitter by the chairman of the National Council for Electronic Mass Media (NEPLP), Ivars Abolins, who wrote that Latvian laws “must be respected by everyone” and accompanied his message with a graphic explaining the reasoning for the decision. 

The Council have argued that Dozhd constituted a “threat to national security and public order” and alleged that the management of the station had not “understood the nature and seriousness of each individual violation or a number of violations”. 

Dozhd was initially granted a broadcasting licence by Latvia in June, after the TV channel stopped broadcasting in Russia in early March following a the harsh crackdown on media by Russian authorities. 

The Council had previously fined the station 10,000 euros for showing a map that included the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula as a part of Russia. In a separate case, a host on the show expressed sympathy for the situation of Russian troops lacking equipment on the frontline. 

The editor-in-chief Tikhon Dzyadko has apologised for the errors made by the station, but claimed that they were also collecting much more information about Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

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