Russian Federation: Failing to protect journalists is failing the Russian people
|Publication Date||12 December 2013|
|Cite as||Article 19, Russian Federation: Failing to protect journalists is failing the Russian people, 12 December 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/52b175374.html [accessed 26 February 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
New investigations are needed into cases of violence against journalists and those at risk need immediate protection, according to a new ARTICLE 19 report launched today in Moscow. The report 'Russian Federation: Journalists under Attack' finds that the authorities are failing to address violence against journalists in violation of international human rights standards and Russian law. The failure to bring the perpetrators and instigators of these attacks to justice is contributing to a climate of impunity in the country. Furthermore, the report highlights that the North Caucasus region is the deadliest place in country for journalists and media workers.
Ahead of memorial day (15 December) - a day to commemorate assassinated journalists in Russia - the international free speech group is urging the Russian authorities to renew stalled investigations into the killings of journalists and bring those responsible to justice, including in the cases of Anna Politkovskaya, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev and Hadjimurad Kamalov.
The call for a series of new independent inquiries is among a series of detailed recommendations to the Russian authorities included in the report.
"Journalists in Russia are dying to tell their stories. We are concerned that journalists who investigate and write about human rights abuses, organised crime and corruption - or who publicly challenge or criticise officials - are particularly vulnerable to harassment and violent attacks and they need protection now" said David Diaz-Jogeix, Director of Programmes at ARTICLE 19.
"The Russian authorities must do more to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and to protect journalists, who do a vital job to keep society informed. Failing to protect journalists is failing the Russian people. If violence against journalists goes unpunished, the wrong message is conveyed - that speaking out is dangerous and that the authorities don't care. The Russian Federation must take meaningful steps to put in place mechanisms to ensure the safety of journalists," added Diaz-Jogeix.
When those responsible for attacks against journalists are not brought to justice, journalists feel unsafe and a culture of fear emerges. The result is that people practise self-censorship, which prevents important information from being shared. This has an impact on the whole of Russian society, not just media workers. Impunity for attacks against journalists, together with growing censorship restrictions under President Putin's third term as President, is contributing to reducing the space for critical voices to be heard in Russian society.
The report demonstrates the Russian Federation's failure to comply with international freedom of expression standards and highlights the need for greater protection for journalists. It recommends creating a new independent body to investigate crimes against freedom of expression and asks that the authorities design and implement a new and effective policy for the protection of journalists that complies with international human rights standards, in citing those in the Joint Declaration on Crimes against Freedom of Expression adopted in 2012.
Notes to editors:
For more information about the report or to request interviews, please contact the ARTICLE 19 press office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling ++44207324250
For more information in Russian language about the report or to request interviews, please contact ARTICLE 19 Head of Europe and Central Asia, Nathalie Losekoot by emailing email@example.com or calling Russian mobile number +79168289789
ARTICLE 19 is an international free speech group. The organisation takes its name from Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.
The ten cases identified in the report as needing new investigations are:
- See more at: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37404/en/russian-federation:-failing-to-protect-journalists-is-failing-the-russian-people#sthash.TFo80uV0.dpuf