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Commissioner Muižnieks urges the Russian authorities to better respect journalists' rights and safety

Statement
Strasbourg 09/01/2017
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I have learned with great concern that an Instagram post published by the Speaker of the Chechen Parliament last Friday intimidated Gregory Shvedov, an editor-in-chief of Caucasian Knot – a Russian independent media outlet which covers news from the North Caucasus, including human rights violations in the region.

I am also disappointed about the lack of a firm reaction by political leaders at regional and federal level. Media freedom and safety of journalists, as guaranteed ...by the European Convention on Human Rights, are fundamental elements of a democracy. For this reason, such events are unacceptable and should always be condemned in order to send an unequivocal message that the State does not tolerate any sort of attacks on the press and stands by human rights standards.

I express my solidarity with Mr Shvedov and extend it to all journalists who take serious risks to serve the public good. At the same time, I urge the political leaders in Chechnya and at the Federal level to better protect media freedom and to promote an environment in which journalists can exercise their profession safely and freely.