Moscow, 28 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Several Russian rights groups appealed to the Council of Europe today over the closure of the country's last independent national television channel TV-6. The groups sent a letter to the Europe-wide rights and democracy body, saying the closure took place purely for political reasons. The groups say that the closure deprives millions of Russians of an important source of independent and objective information.
TV-6 was 75 percent-owned by self-exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky and often criticized the Kremlin's military campaign against separatists in Chechnya.
TV-6 went off the air a week ago after it was ordered to cease broadcasting. TV-6 lost a controversial court ruling based on a heavily criticized law concerning a company's profits that was repealed by parliament last year.