10 Jan 2017 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 10 Jan 2017 n° 1/2017 Russian Federation

Russian Editor Threatened by Government Official in Instagram Post

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index RSF
On 4 January 2017, the Speaker of the Parliament of Chechnya Magomed Daudov published a post on Instagram, calling for violence against “Shved”, a clear reference to Grigory Shvedov, Editor-in-Chief of Caucasian Knot, an independent Russian news site that focuses on human rights violations and abuses of the rule of law across the Caucasus and Southern Russia.

The post, titled “How to untie the Caucasian Knot”, is accompanied by a picture of a drooling dog, and calls “for a vet to pull out [Shved's] wisdom teeth and cut his tongue to size”. Shvedov is called cowardly and repeatedly compared to dog.

In an interview with Russian daily newspaper, Kommersant, Shvedov stated that he considered the threat to be “a reaction to our work in general”, rather than in response to any specific article or investigation. Caucasian Knot’s lawyers now plan to submit an official complaint to the Investigative Committee on charges of obstructing journalism (Article 144 of the Criminal Code).
Follow-ups
09 Jan 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calling 'unacceptable and dangerous' the behaviour by the Chechen Parliament Speaker Daudov calling for violence against the Caucasian Knot editor-in-chief Grigoriy Shvedov.
09 Jan 2017
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern that an Instagram post published by the Speaker of the Chechen Parliament intimidated Gregory Shvedov.
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