The Migration Service of Latvia asked the management of the Dozhd TV channel (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation), which had previously been deprived of its license, to explain the purpose of the stay of 13 employees in their country. Maira Rose, head of the Latvian Citizenship Department, said that after these clarifications, the department will decide whether to deprive the TV channel’s employees of work visas.
“The TV channel was issued 13 visas. The goal was to ensure the broadcasting of the channel. Among the recipients are directors, cameramen, and other employees. Therefore, now that the license has been revoked, we need to understand whether the purpose of issuing visas has been preserved,” Maira Rose said on Rus.LSM.
According to her, the cancellation of a license is not a reason for the automatic cancellation of work visas issued to Dozhd employees. Ms. Rose explained that the work of “Rain” on Youtube is “also, in a sense, the creation of programs.” She stated that if the channel’s employees do not have a job in Latvia, they can be issued visas “for humanitarian reasons.”
On December 1, on the air of Dozhd, journalist Aleksey Korostelev read out the editorial staff’s request to send messages about violations during mobilization by mail. He expressed hope that the channel would help solve them. The Latvian authorities regarded it as support for the Russian army.
The TV channel lost its Latvian license on 6 December. The Latvian authorities said that this decision was made in the interests of “state security and public order.” Dozhd’s editor-in-chief Tikhon Dzyadko (recognized as a foreign agent) said that the channel hopes to resume broadcasting in Latvia.
As it became known later, the Latvian authorities had several more claims against the TV channel. In particular, Dozhd was accused of not being accompanied by a translation into Latvian in accordance with the laws of the country. In addition, the channel was fined €10,000 for a map showing Crimea as part of Russia. The broadcasting of the channel was also stopped in Estonia and Lithuania.