New York, November 26, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns today’s conviction and sentencing of Russian opposition blogger Sergei Reznik to 18 months in prison in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don. CPJ urges Russian authorities to scrap the verdict on appeal.
York, October 31, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a
decision by the Moscow City Court today to revoke the license of independent
online news agency Rosbalt and urges Russian authorities to overturn the ruling
September 18, 2013, British freelance journalist and former videographer for The Times of London Kieron Bryan, 29, was
detained along with Russian freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov and 28
Greenpeace activists and ship crew members off the north coast of Russia. Bryan
was covering a Greenpeace demonstration in protest of oil mining in the Arctic,
according to local and international press reports.
New York, September 27, 2013--Russian
authorities should immediately release a freelance photographer who was
detained nine days ago while covering a Greenpeace demonstration, the Committee
to Protect Journalists said today. A court on Thursday ordered Denis Sinyakov to
be held for two months pending an investigation into accusations of piracy,
news reports said.
Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch have jointly called on
the six presidential candidates of the International Olympics Committee to
ensure that future host countries of the Olympic Games fully comply with human
rights principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter, including press freedom and
York, July 18, 2013--Russian authorities must free on appeal the anti-corruption
blogger and opposition activist Aleksei Navalny, who was
convicted on politicized charges of embezzlement today and sentenced to five
years in prison, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Navalny was jailed
immediately after the verdict was announced, according to news reports.
Last week, I was preparing to write a column about the
anniversary of Paul
Klebnikov's murder. The American editor of Forbes-Russia was murdered contract-style nine years ago in Moscow
at the age of 41. He had investigated connections between Russian business and
organized crime, as well as ethnic and political tensions in Chechnya. Despite
numerous official promises to solve the July 9, 2004, killing, Klebnikov's
murderers--as well whoever ordered him killed-- are still nowhere near the dock.
York, July 9, 2013--Today's murder of an editor in the volatile republic of
Dagestan is a grim reminder that Russia is one of the deadliest countries in
the world for journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Akhmednabi
Akhmednabiyev, deputy editor of the independent news outlet Novoye Delo and a contributor to the independent
regional news website Kavkazsky Uzel, had been the target of previous threats
of Aleksei Navalny is coming to an end at the Leninsky District Court in
the river city of Kirov, 500 miles northeast of Moscow. Navalny, a charismatic
37-year-old lawyer, was propelled to fame through his activities as an
anti-corruption blogger, activist, and a leader of Russia's opposition movement.
Most recently, he pledged to compete in future presidential
elections, and sought registration to run in the Moscow mayoral election. Both
his activities as a blogger and his budding presidential ambitions have earned
him the attention of Russian authorities eager to eliminate any opposition that
would shake the political status quo.
York, June 26, 2013--Prosecution and
court authorities in the central Russian city of Ulyanovsk should act
immediately to rescind an order that blocks public access to an independent
news site, among several others, in a case notably lacking in evidence, legal
basis, and fair play, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Edward Snowden's global travels have highlighted the chasm
between the political posturing and actual practices of governments when it
comes to free expression. As is well known now, the former government
contractor's leaks exposed
phone and digital surveillance being conducted by the U.S. National Security
Agency, practices at odds with the Obama administration's positioning of the United
States as a global leader on Internet
freedom and its calls for technology companies to resist foreign
demands for censorship and surveillance.
We received an unusual email last week. Michaella Ortega
wrote to tell us that Marlon Recamata, who confessed to shooting her father,
Philippine journalist Gerardo Ortega, in
2011, had been convicted and sentenced to life for the crime.
May 8, 2013--Today's arrest in Moscow of a local businessman suspected of organizing
attack that led to the death in 2000 of investigative reporter Igor Domnikov
is a long-overdue step toward justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists
said. Russian authorities must now ensure that all of those involved in
planning the attack are brought to justice, CPJ said.
In advance of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to
Moscow this week, Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the
Committee to Protect Journalists sent him a letter to call
attention to the ongoing crackdown
in Russia on non-governmental organizations--including those that support
press freedom and freedom of expression.
In the year since Vladimir Putin returned to the Russian
presidency, independent media, civil society groups, and opposition activists
have been under
attack. But as he has done in the past, Putin recently
asserted that his government is not engaged in political repression.
New York, April 15, 2013--Prosecutors in Abakan,
capital of the Republic of Khakassia in southern Siberia, should drop the criminal
defamation charges against an online journalist, the Committee to Protect
Journalists said today. News accounts are reporting that after four months of
investigation, Mikhail Afanasyev's case is moving to court, although no date
has yet been set.
Mikhail Beketov's recovery, in photos by CPJ and news agencies.
Beketov, the former crusading editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda in the Moscow suburb,
Khimki, died this afternoon at a Moscow hospital. A choking
episode during lunch led to heart failure, Elena Kostyuchenko, Beketov's friend
and a reporter for the newspaper Novaya
Gazeta, told CPJ by phone from Moscow. Really, though, Beketov's life was
taken by the thugs who
smashed his skull, broke his legs, pulverized his hands, and left him to die in
the freezing cold nearly five years ago. He defied them, surviving that November 2008 night and valiantly rallying in the ensuing years, but the once robust and fearless editor was
never the same.
Recent statements by Vladimir Putin and
Russian Member of Parliament (MP) Aleksey Mitrofanov, as well as raids on human
rights organizations, signal that the threat hanging over civil society and
freedom of expression in Russia has become reality. Since Putin returned to
presidential office in May, the Kremlin has passed a series
of restrictive laws and provisions, but until recently authorities had not
acted upon many of them.
On February 11, three unidentified assailants attacked and
beat Victor Nedosvetey, editor of the regional newspaper Nepravilnaya Gazeta, in the city of Naryan-Mar, capital of Russia's
northwestern Nenets Autonomous District, his news
CPJ's Robert Mahoney identifies the 10 countries where press freedom suffered the most in 2012. They include Syria, the world's deadliest country for the press; Russia, where repressive laws took effect; Brazil, where journalist murders soared; and Ethiopia, where terror laws are used to silence the press. (3:26)
The beginning of Vladimir Putin’s third term as president was marked by a crackdown on civil society and critical opinion. Putin signed laws that suppress dissent by limiting public assembly, criminalizing defamation, and authorizing state censorship of critical websites. A Cold War-era chill settled in as lawmakers passed a measure requiring nongovernmental groups receiving international grants to register as “foreign agents,” and the administration expelled the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations children’s agency. Illustrating the growing climate of intolerance, a court convicted members of a punk band on “hooliganism” charges and sentenced them to prison in connection with an anti-Putin stunt at a Moscow church. Deadly anti-press violence persisted: Assailants in the North Caucasus city of Nalchik gunned down a news anchor for the state-owned broadcaster VGTRK. Authorities made little substantive progress in addressing impunity in previous journalist murders. A former police colonel was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of helping plot the 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Family and colleagues were dismayed that the suspect made a deal with investigators to be tried behind closed doors. And the country’s top criminal investigator threatened a leading newspaper editor in response to a critical commentary.
Every second crime committed in Russia goes unsolved,
President Vladimir Putin said Friday, addressing a conference of the nation's
high-ranking Interior Ministry officials. "The low crime-detection rate and
impunity for the criminals do not serve justice but undermine public trust in
law enforcement agencies, as well as the state per se," Putin said, according
to his website.
Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the independent
daily Chernovik, was murdered in Makhachkala, capital of Russia's southern
republic of Dagestan, on December 15, 2011. The slaying was brazen, coming on the
national Day of Remembrance for journalists killed in the course of their work.
The late-evening assault took place outside Chernovik's
newsroom, located on Makhachkala's Magomed Gadzhiev Street. Equipped with numerous
security cameras, the street is a throughway for government motorcades,
including that of the regional president. Nobody moves undetected there. But Kamalov's
slaying is yet to be solved.