Journalist Shot in Southern Russia

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Year 31 Dec 2017 Country Russian Federation Category Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner CPJ Alert level Level 1
31 Dec 2017 Russian Federation Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Unknown CPJ Level 1
No state reply yet

On 21 December 2017, Vyacheslav Prudnikov, who contributes to the independent regional news website Kavkazsky Uzel from the town of Krasny Sulin in Russia's southern Rostov region, was shot with a weapon during a meeting with a local official, media reported. Prudnikov told the local news website Don News that he had been meeting a municipal official, who the journalist referred to as Dmitry N. per the official's request, when a vehicle stopped nearby. A man got out of the vehicle and opened fire on him, yelling, "You criticize local authorities too much, we'll kill you," Prudnikov told Don News from a local hospital where he was receiving treatment. The journalist said the shooter and Dmitry N. "disappeared" when another car passed the scene. Prudnikov told Don News he did not recognize the shooter. Prudnikov has covered social and human rights issues in Krasny Sulin and nearby districts for Kavkazsky Uzel and other local outlets. His recent reports focused on miners' protests against alleged mismanagement by municipal authorities. According to Don News, Prudnikov was wounded in the elbow when he covered his head during the shooting. Doctors found an additional bullet in his body, and performed surgery to remove it, the site reported without specifying where this bullet was located.

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31 Dec 2017 : OSCE Media Freedom Representative condemns attack on journalist in Russia, calls for speedy and effective investigation.

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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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