02 Jul 2020 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 02 Jul 2020 n° 78/2020 Russian Federation

Attack on Russian Journalist David Frenkel Covering Constitutional Election

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Article 19 RSF
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Partner Article 19 RSF
Russian journalist David Frenkel from Mediazona was hospitalised with a broken shoulder on 30 June 2020 after he had been assaulted by a police officer and an election observer at a polling station in St Petersburg.
The journalist came to the polling station to investigate earlier reports that a member of the election committee had been unlawfully barred access to voting numbers. Frenkel stated the police officer pushed him out of the polling station, twisted his arm, and hit him. The election observer then stepped on his injured arm and broke it. The election observer, who is an ex-town councillor from “United Russia”, denied that the attack took place and said that the journalist fell and broke his arm himself.
Mediazona later quoted St. Petersburg police as saying that their officers didn't injure Frenkel and that the officers had removed him from the polling place "in a lawful manner."
The spokesperson of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, and the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Tatyana Moskalkova called for an investigation on the attack on journalist.
Follow-ups
02 Jul 2020
New CoE Commissioner for Human Rights considers that "the excessive use of force by the Russian police against journalist David Frenkel is an unacceptable interference with press freedom"
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