New York, February 23, 2011--In advance of key meetings on Thursday between the European Commission and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Committee to Protect Journalists urges European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to address Russia's record of rampant impunity in resolving the killings of journalists.
"Physical attacks and murder have become routine methods used
to silence journalists in Russia," said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program
Russian officials have made public commitments to protect
journalists, but with convictions elusive, violence against the press
continues. Russia's Federal Investigative Committee, responsible for probing
the country's most serious crimes, announced it would reopen
at least five unsolved cases after meeting with a CPJ delegation in
Moscow in September 2010--CPJ's third consecutive yearly visit to Russia to
press officials for justice. While no journalists were murdered in 2010, at
least one reporter was brutally
beaten in retaliation for his work. And his assailant, like nearly all
attackers in anti-press cases, remains at large.
Russia ranks eighth on CPJ's Impunity Index, a list of countries where journalists are killed regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Nineteen journalists have been murdered in the country since 2000, according to CPJ research.