06 Aug 2019 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 28 Jul 2019 Russian Federation

Journalists Beaten and Detained at Protests in Moscow

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index CPJ EFJ/IFJ
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Partner Index CPJ EFJ/IFJ
On 27 July 2019, Moscow police violently dispersed thousands of protesters who had taken to the streets in support of free and fair elections. Police used batons and fists to beat those who attended the protests; at least five journalists were reportedly injured in the crackdown. Evgeny Feldman, a photographer for Meduza, suffered a broken nose after a policeman hit and damaged his camera. Cameraman Alexandr Soloukhin also suffered a broken nose as a result of police violence. Balaram Usov, editor of the student magazine DOKHA, was hospitalised for his injuries; he was reported to have suffered a hand injury after being pushed against a door and a head injury after being struck in the head by a police baton. Photographer Valery Tenevoy was reportedly detained at the protest before being taken to a police van where he was beaten. Reporter Elena Sheveleva of RBC was also reported to have been assaulted while covering the protests. Ilya Azar, a reporter with Novaya Gazeta, was detained at the protest despite presenting his press card to the police.

Police also targeted journalists who were reporting on the protests from their newsrooms. Police detained broadcast host, Vladimir Milov, after they broke into the studio of the Navalny Live channel, and Editor-in-chief, Aleksandra Perepelova, was presented with a summons for questioning after they broke into the TV channel “Rain”. Perepelova was summoned as a witness for under article 141 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation ("obstructing the work of election commissions").
Updates
New 06 Aug 2019
On 3 August 2019, police arrested and detained more than 600 protesters and at least 14 reporting journalists, after about 1,500 people took to the streets of Moscow to protest the disqualification of several opposition candidates from local elections. Vladimir Romensky, a reporter with the broadcaster “Dozhd”, was arrested at Pushkin Square when he gave a branded microphone to his colleague, he said. Policemen searched his backpack and found his accreditation and editorial assignment. He was taken to a police van, released shortly afterwards, then arrested again and driven to a police station. Elena Vanina, a reporter with the business newspaper “Vedomosti”, was also arrested at Pushkin Square. She was driven to a police station. Nikita Pavlyuk-Pavlyuchenko, a reporter with “Snob Media”, was arrested at the protests, despite repeated attempts to show his accreditation documents. “Mediazona” reporter Anastasia Yasenitskaya said she was also briefly detained despite showing a press-card. Among other detainees were Dutch journalist Joos Bosman, “MBH-Media” reporters Alexandra Semenova and Alexey Stepanov, and “Baza” reporter Petr Koronaev. According to the Russia Union of Journalists, Kirill Ataniyazov, Natalia Panferova, Arkady Dubnov, Anton Belitsky were also arrested, while the Journalists and Media Workers Union reported that Dmitry Dyomushkin of White News, and Aleksei Mashchenko were detained. All fourteen were released without charge.
Follow-ups
07 Aug 2019
New The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recommends that the Russian authorities ensure that human rights are respected in the context of policing of assemblies.
31 Jul 2019
New OSCE Representative expresses concern about obstruction to journalists’ activities at Moscow demonstration, calls for respect of media’s role during public events.
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