January 27
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Latvia has revoked the broadcasting license of Russian TV channel Dozhd, the head of Latvia's National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP), Ivars Abolins, said on Tuesday, December 6. According to him, the decision was made "due to a threat to national security and public order. "Dozhd" will stop broadcasting in Latvia on December 8.

"Evaluating the cumulative violations, NEPLP is convinced that the management of Dozhd does not understand and is not aware of the significance and seriousness of the violations, so it cannot operate in Latvia," Abolins said to Leta agency. In his microblogging Twitter, he also added that "the laws of Latvia must be observed and respected by everyone.

Dozhd TV channel after being disconnected from cable in Latvia will continue to broadcast on the platform of YouTube, said Dozhd's commentary on the decision of the Latvian authorities to revoke its license. "We continue to work and consider all accusations against us unfair and absurd," the statement noted.

The Dozhd TV channel was blocked in Russia a few days after the start of the war in Ukraine and, like many other independent media outlets, was forced to stop working. In June, it became known that Dozhd had obtained a broadcasting license in Latvia, where journalists from a number of independent Russian publications had moved. In July, the channel announced that it was resuming broadcasting.

A few days ago the Latvian authorities had several complaints against the channel. For example, the NEPLP imposed a fine of 10,000 euros on Dozhd for showing on air a map of Crimea as part of Russia and for using the words "our army" in reference to the Russian armed forces. The NEPLP also stressed that this was not the first complaint against this TV channel.

Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks called for the removal of residence permits for the channel's staff after its host Aleksei Korostelev misspoke on air. His phrase that the channel "was able to help" mobilized Russians "at the front" was interpreted literally - as evidence of assistance to Moscow's military aggression against Ukraine. The Latvian State Security Service began an investigation of Dozhd.

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