Comment by the Information and Press Department on refusal of the Latvian authorities to register Rossiya Segodnya office
On August 27, the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia turned down a registration request by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency because the “content of this media outlet runs counter to the Constitution of Latvia and the official stance of the national government.”
On April 29, 2015, Rossiya Segodnya submitted its request to the required registration agencies, and its review deadlines were repeatedly extended.
Pending a decision by the authorised agencies, Latvian media outlets published comments and statements by Latvian officials and politicians who urged preventing the agency from operating in the country. These statements cannot but be assessed as direct pressure on the registration agency.
The Russian side has repeatedly drawn attention to the “innovative” methods used by the Latvian leaders in an effort to censure the media environment. These methods run counter to the country’s international obligations to guarantee freedom of speech and a free press.
We are calling on the international community and specialised organisations, and primarily the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, to assess this openly discriminatory and politically motivated decision by the Latvian authorities.
August 29, 2015