Dear Minister Lavrov:
The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the Foreign Ministry's pattern of using accreditation, visa and other regulations to control and intimidate journalists reporting on the war in Chechnya for foreign media. The Foreign Ministry escalated this campaign against foreign news media by moving this week to bar the U.S. television network ABC from reporting in Russia.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that ABC reporters have been denied access to government officials and that their accreditations will not be renewed when they expire. Authorities took this step after the network broadcast an interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev on its news program, "Nightline," on July 28.