Latvia’s National Electronic Media Council revokes TV Rain’s broadcasting licence

Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) has revoked the broadcasting licence of TV Rain, President of the Council Ivars Āboliņš says in a tweet.

“Due to the national security and public order threat, this morning NEPLP made a decision to cancel TV Rain’s broadcasting permission,” Āboliņš tweeted.

According to him, TV Rain’s leadership did not understand the nature and gravity of each separate violation committed by the channel and all violations as a whole.

Update 12:43 PM

“The Latvian authorities have made a decision to revoke TV Rain’s licence. The TV channel will stop broadcasting on cable but will remain on YouTube. We continue our work and consider all accusations against us to be unjust and absurd,” TV Rain said in a statement.

The channel’s CEO Natalia Sindeeva told Russian media outlet Meduza that they had not attempted to reach an agreement with the Latvian authorities. According to her, she was not prepared for the licence to be revoked and was certain that Latvia’s government would not take that step.

Sindeeva also answered whether she regretted firing Korostelev.

“I’m regretting everything right now. We have done a lot of stupid things. There wasn’t anything good that we’ve done,” Natalia said.

On 1 December, TV Rain host Alexey Korostelev said on air, “We hope that we could help many service members, particularly with equipment and just basic convenience on the frontline.” Later, editor-in-chief of TV Rain Tikhon Dzyadko said that the channel did not, is not, and would not help out the Russian army with equipment, on the frontlines or beyond. Korostelev was fired.

On 2 December, the Latvian State Security Service opened an investigation, suspecting TV Rain of “providing help to the Russian occupation army soldiers”. The agency warned that direct or indirect collection or transfers of funds or any other assets entails criminal liability.

Margarita Lyutova, host of an economy programme on TV Rain, wrote on Facebook that she was quitting amid the Korostelev debacle. Another reporter, Vladimir Romensky, also said he was leaving TV Rain.

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