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Site closed over Pussy Riot video

AFP-JIJI

A Moscow court on Thursday stripped a news site of its license for posting a raunchy video by female punk rockers from the Pussy Riot band, two of whose members are in jail.

The tough ruling sparked protests from both Russian reporters and a top global watchdog that warned of a further deterioration of media freedoms under President Vladimir Putin’s 13-year rule.

The Rosbalt web-based news agency vowed to challenge the verdict in Russia’s constitutional court and defiantly refused to shut down its site. Rosbalt director Larisa Afinova called the decision a “precedent-setting” warning to other independent reporters operating under increasingly restrictive conditions.