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  2. The Syndicate-100 Association of Independent Media demanded stopping the persecution of journalists

The Syndicate-100 Association of Independent Media demanded stopping the persecution of journalists

Detainees at the rally in Syktyvkar on January 31
Photo by Dmitry Stepanovsky
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The Syndicate-100 Association of Independent Russian Media demanded that the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Federal National Guard Troops Service immediately stop the obstruction of the professional activities of journalists and the persecution of journalists performing their duty. At the rallies on January 23 and 31, law enforcement officers detained dozens of media representatives, ignoring their press cards and markings.

The 7x7 Online Newspaper publishes the full text of the statement.

We remind not only the heads, but also employees of these departments that the Law on Mass Media (Article 47 “The Rights of the Journalist”) explicitly states the right of a journalist to visit places of mass gatherings of citizens.

Nevertheless, during the mass protests taking place in the country on January 23 and 31, as well as on February 2, dozens of our colleagues were detained by law enforcement officers while performing their professional duty. Physical force was used against the journalists: a Special Police Force officer hit correspondent of Novaya Gazeta Elizaveta Kirpanova on the head with a baton, correspondent of Meduza Kristina Safonova received several blows with a baton, the blow got on the phone of Alyona Istomina from NGS.EN as she was recording a video. There are cases of journalists being beaten during detention and even tazered.

Journalists of almost every media outlet of Syndicate-100 faced the counterwork of law enforcement agencies in many cities of Russia when performing their duty these days. The Independent Trade Union of Journalists has recorded 180 cases of violations of the journalists' rights on January 23 and 31. And this practice continues — today, journalists have been detained in the streets of Moscow again, their identification “Press” vests, the presence of press certificates and tasks of the editorial office being ignored.

Such actions violate the law and come within Article 144 of the Criminal Code "Obstruction of the Lawful Professional Activity of Journalists" committed by a person through his official position.

We demand law compliance and the immediate release of all journalists detained while covering the protests. The pressure of the authorities on the media is unacceptable.


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