Russia: 13 journalists detained, more beaten during protests

The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have today condemned the detention of at least 13 international and local journalists by Russian authorities during nationwide anti-corruption protests on 26 March. The demonstrations were not officially authorised in many Russian cities including Moscow and Saint-Petersburg which led to the detention of hundreds of people. Six journalists – among them two international correspondents – were detained in the capital Moscow, three in Saint-Petersburg and four more in other Russian cities. Reports added that the police also threatened and hit some reporters to prevent them from covering the demonstrations. Journalist…

Norwegian journalist denied entry in Russia

Barents Observer Editor Thomas Nilsen was on business trip with a delegation from the Danish Parliament´s Committee of Foreign Affairs, on 8 March 2017, when he learned that he can’t enter Russia, despite having a valid visa. When Nilsen arrived in Borisoglebsk, the cross-border point between Russia and Norway, he was told by FSB border guards that he is not allowed to enter due to security reasons. Barents Observer quoted Nilsen describing the incident: “I was told it was necessary to deny me access to Russia for the purpose of state security. The officers could not elaborate further and it was…

Russia: police raided home of journalist and human rights activist Zoya Svetova

The home of Russian journalist and human rights activist Zoya Svetova was raided by the police on February 28. According to her lawyer Anna Stavitskaya, ten investigators and two representatives of Federal Security Bureau (FSB) entered the property in the morning and searched her computer, personal papers and books. Stavitskaya believes that the raid is connected to Yukos (the oil company) case for alleged tax evasion. She explained that Russian law enforcement agencies think that the proceeds are used to fund organisations and individuals, among them Svetova. The Moscow Times columnist is known for her work on prisoners’ rights in…

Russian blogger extradited to Azerbaijan

UPDATE (07.03.2017): The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) alert submitted on the detention of Alexander Lapshin to Council of Europe platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists. He is currently located at the Detention Center of the Baku Investigative Prison Nr 1. ——————- Russian blogger Alexander Lapshin, who also holds Ukrainian and Israeli citizenships, was extradited to Azerbaijan, after the Supreme Court in Belarus decided to send him to Baku despite the objections from Moscow. The blogger, who is famous for writing about traveling, was arrested in Minsk in December…

IFJ/EFJ urge Russian authorities to stop persecuting Ukrainian journalists

Ukrainian journalists Mykola Semena and Roman Sushchenko are facing jail following charges by the Russian authorities of separatism and espionage, respectively. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), together with other human rights groups, are asking for these charges to be dropped immediately. The IFJ and EFJ have joined calls from their Ukrainian affiliates, the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU), to condemn the persecution of independent media and journalists critical of the Russian authorities, especially in the Russia-annexed Crimea. Both Semena and Sushchenko are NUJU members.…

The CoE adopted resolution on attacks against journalists

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday discussed the rising levels of violence against journalists, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev (EPP/CD), pictured above, presented the report, where he drew attention to the death of 16 journalists and the arrest of 150 media employees since January 2015 in member States. Mr. Ariev spoke about the deterioration of media freedom in Turkey and called for “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”. He also raised concerns on the media situation in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine.…

OSCE Representative condemns deterioration of media freedom in conflict-affected parts of Ukraine

The Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned today the worsening situation with media freedom and safety of journalists in areas not controlled by the Ukrainian government. This comment followed the recent report by OSCE Chief Monitor, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, where among others he spoke about the limitation of freedom of expression in the region. The OSCE Chief Monitor mentioned ban of over 350 websites and restrictions against Ukrainian media outlets. Mijatović noted that threats and intimidation of media workers along with the arrest of bloggers Eduard Nedelyaev and Gennadiy Benitskiy are particular worrying cases. She added: Access…

Facebook blocked RT account on the eve of Donald Trump inauguration

On Wednesday 18, during the streaming of Barack Obama’s press conference, Facebook temporary blocked RT account on the grounds of a copyright complain. According to the social network the originally 72 hour ban happened due to the copyright notification, which they received from Current Time TV, a Russian-language media jointly owned by Radio Free Europe and the Voice of America. Russian broadcaster RT, previously known as Russia Today, claimed that they used AP direct feed, which they officially subscribed to. They believed that there might be other reasons for such actions, as this blockage wouldn’t let the media channel to…

Nadezda Azhgikhina: It’s not too late for an honest Russian-American dialogue

This article signed by the Vice President of the EFJ Nadezda Azhgikhina was initially published in The Nation weekly magazine in the United States. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission. It’s Not Too Late for an Honest Russian-American Dialogue https://t.co/v9jk5xk7gM — The Nation (@thenation) January 17, 2017 During Russia’s extended Christmas holidays, in a town near Moscow, an unemployed man stabbed his potential employer for political reasons during a friendly meal. The employer, who owns a gas station, said that Russians live poorly because of low productivity—that is, a US worker has to work 30 minutes to earn…

Ukraine: National Radio and TV Council bans broadcast of Russian TV Dozhd

On 12 January, the National Radio and TV Council (NRTC) of Ukraine voted unanimously to cease the retransmission of the Russian TV Channel Dozhd (Rain), following TV reports showing Crimea as part of Russia. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins today the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović in condemning this decision, which will have harmful consequences for media pluralism in Ukraine. Decision of @NacRada to stop broadcasting @tvrain DozhdTV very demaging for media pluralism in #Ukraine https://t.co/cdT4mmMLna @OSCE_RFoM — Dunja Mijatovic (@Dunja_Mijatovic) January 12, 2017 According to a press release posted on the council’s website,…

Russian editor threatened by government official in Chechnya

The Speaker of the Chechen Parliament, Magomed Daudov, tried to intimidate Gregory Shvedov, the editor-in-chief of Caucasian Knot (Kavkazsky Uzel), an independent online news site that covers the Caucasus, focusing on human rights violations. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemned this shameful intimidation. Daudov, aka Lord, posted his threats on the social media website Instagram on 4th January, calling for violence against “Shved”, a clear reference to Grigory Shvedov. The post, titled “How to untie the Caucasian Knot”, is accompanied by a picture of a dog, and calls “for a vet to pull out [Shved’s] wisdom teeth and cut his tongue to size”.…