Russia

2012


Blog   |   Afghanistan, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Journalists still murdered where impunity reigns

(AFP/Pedro Pardo)

Almost half of the 67 journalists killed worldwide in 2012 were targeted and murdered for their work, research by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows. The vast majority covered politics. Many also reported on war, human rights, and crime. In almost half of these cases, political groups are the suspected source of fire. There has been no justice in a single one of these deaths.

December 18, 2012 12:00 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Russia

Russia still far from solving Politkovskaya murder

Former police official Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov arrives in court Friday. He was jailed for 11 years for his role in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. (Reuters/Anton Petrov)

New York, December 17, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called for a retrial of a key defendant in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. The defendant, a former senior police official, was sentenced Friday in a deal that Politkovskaya's family and colleagues fear will not ultimately identify the crime's true masterminds.

Moscow City Court wrapped up the two-day, closed trial of former police Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who was originally charged with organizing the 2006 killing of the prominent Novaya Gazeta correspondent but, under a deal he cut with investigators, was tried only for being an accomplice. According to the deal, Pavlyuchenkov was obligated to fully confess his role in the murder and name its mastermind, Novaya Gazeta said. The journalist's family and colleagues say Pavlyuchenkov did not fulfill those conditions, but their appeals to invalidate the deal were denied.

Alerts   |   Russia

News anchor shot dead in Russia's North Caucasus

Kazbek Gekkiyev was shot dead on Wednesday. (Reuters/VGTRK)

New York, December 6, 2012--Authorities should immediately investigate Wednesday's murder of a journalist in Russia's volatile North Caucasus and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Two unidentified men shot Kazbek Gekkiyev, 28, in the head three times while he was returning home from work with his friend at around 9 p.m. in Nalchik, the capital of the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, according to local and international news reports. The gunmen asked Gekkiyev his name before they shot him and then fled in a getaway vehicle, according to the state newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. The journalist's friend was unharmed, news reports said.

Blog   |   Brazil, CPJ, India, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia

Speak Justice campaign fights impunity in press murders

The tortured and decapitated body of 39-year-old María Elizabeth Macías Castro was found on a Saturday evening in September 2011. It had been dumped by the side of a road in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican border town ravaged by the war on drugs. Macías, a freelance journalist, wrote about organized crime on social media under the pseudonym "The Girl from Laredo." Her murder, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, was the first in which a journalist was killed in direct relation for reporting published on social media. It remains unsolved.

Blog   |   Belarus, CPJ, Philippines, Russia

Twenty-three days to take action against impunity

Approximately 30 journalists are targeted and murdered every year, and on average, in only three of these crimes are the killers ever brought to justice. Other attacks on freedom of expression occur daily: bloggers are threatened, photographers beaten, writers kidnapped. And in those instances, justice is even more rare. Today, the Committee to Protect Journalists joins freedom of expression advocates worldwide in a 23-day campaign to dismantle one case at a time a culture of impunity that allows perpetrators to gag journalists, bloggers, photographers and writers, while keeping the rest of us uninformed.

Alerts   |   Russia

Russia must investigate threats against leading researcher

Tanya Lokshina announced today that she has received threatening text messages. (AFP/Natalia Kolesnikova)

New York, October 4, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns threats against Tanya Lokshina, a leading Russian researcher and writer known for her work documenting human rights abuses in the North Caucasus. CPJ calls for an urgent, thorough, and effective investigation that tracks down all responsible.

Blog   |   CPJ, Russia

Mission Journal: Putin imposes harsh climate on Russia

A security guard at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, right, runs toward Pussy Riot supporters holding Cyrillic letters reading 'Blessed are the Merciful' in Moscow on Aug. 15. (AP/Novaya Gazeta, Yevgeny Feldman)

Record-high temperatures swept most of Europe this summer, but in Moscow the weather, much like the political climate, was chilly. I spent three months in the capital at the invitation of the Russian Union of Journalists, and witnessed how Vladimir Putin's third term in office kicked off with the passage of restrictive laws, harassment and prosecution of dissent, the jailing of an irreverent punk-rock band, and death threats by a top-ranking official against a prominent editor. 

Blog   |   Russia

Criminalization of speech a serious setback for Russia

Thousands gathered in December 2011 to protest the alleged vote rigging in parliamentary elections. (AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Shortly after the May 7 presidential inauguration of Vladimir Putin, the Russian parliament passed four major bills in record time--all of them meant to counter the protests that first erupted in the country in December 2011.

Blog   |   CPJ, Honduras, Russia, Turkey

CPJ testifies on global threats to freedom of expression

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington on Wednesday, highlighting global attacks on press freedom and, in particular, assaults on the press in Honduras, Russia, and Turkey.

Blog   |   Russia

Three years on, Natalya Estemirova's murder unsolved

People pray at the burial of Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya July 16, 2009. (AP/Musa Sadulayev)

Three years ago this week, Natalya Estemirova, a contributor to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a local staffer for the Moscow-based rights group Memorial, was murdered in the North Caucasus, Russia's volatile region, where she was famous for her work as a defender of human rights. 

July 19, 2012 4:16 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Russia

Former police colonel indicted in Politkovskaya murder

Retired police lieutenant colonel Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, seen here in detention in 2011, was indicted in the Politkovskaya murder today. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

New York, July 16, 2012--Russian authorities have formally indicted retired police Lt. Col. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov on charges of complicity in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Russia's Investigative Committee said today. Politkovskaya, an investigative reporter with the Moscow-based independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a fierce critic of the war in Chechnya, was slain in her apartment building on October 7, 2006. 

Blog   |   Internet, Russia

Internet law: a good bad example of Russia's backsliding

Russia's State Duma has passed a number of new laws in the past week, all seemingly aimed at reining in civil society and criticism of public figures. The bills would re-criminalize defamation and impose limits and labels on NGOs. They follow the introduction last month of excessive fines for unauthorized protests.

Blog   |   Russia

Q&A: Nadira Isayeva on exile from Dagestan, in US

Nadira Isayeva (AP/Sergei Rasulov)

Nadira Isayeva, a 2010 CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner, has been living in exile since she left her native Dagestan, in Russia's volatile North Caucasus, in November 2011. Isayeva, the editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Chernovik, had been harassed by security forces for her relentless, critical coverage of their heavy-handed anti-terrorism operations in the region. Yet she was hesitant to leave, unable to imagine herself not reporting on these issues.

After fellow human rights advocates finally convinced Isayeva to leave, she came to New York, where she works as a fellow at Columbia University's Harriman Institute. (The interview has been edited).

June 19, 2012 12:02 AM ET

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Blog   |   Belarus, CPJ, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Libya, Mexico, Mozambique, Russia, Security, Syria, Uganda

Safer mobile use is key issue for journalists

A journalist talks on his satellite phone outside the Rixos Hotel in Libya in August 2011. (AFP/Filippo Monteforte)

As the Internet and mobile communications become more integrated into reporters' work, the digital threats to journalists' work and safety have increased as well. While many press reports have documented Internet surveillance and censorship--and the efforts to combat them--mobile communications are the new frontline for journalist security.

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, India, Iraq, Mexico, Multimedia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka

Video: Getting Away With Murder


CPJ's María Salazar-Ferro names the 12 countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. Where are leaders failing to uphold the law? Where are conditions getting better? And where is free expression in danger? (4:46)

Read CPJ's 2012 Impunity Index. And visit our Global Campaign Against Impunity and see how you can help.

April 17, 2012 12:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, France, Italy, Romania, Russia, Turkey, UK, Ukraine

Defending the European Court of Human Rights

Judges hear a case in the European Court of Human Rights. More than 60,000 people sought the court's help in 2011. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

The European Court of Human Rights is a victim of its success. In 2011, more than 60,000 people sought its help after exhausting all judicial remedies before national courts. But now, some member states of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe are pushing for reforms of the prestigious institution and are pointing at the number of cases to make their argument. Instead of enhancing the court's capacity to deal with the backlog of cases, their moves would clip the court's prerogatives and undermine a citizen's capacity to defend his most fundamental rights.

Alerts   |   Russia

Moscow police must investigate attacks on journalists

Police and protesters at Pushkin Square on Monday. (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)

New York, March 7, 2012--A reporter covering a post-election protest in Moscow suffered a concussion after being assaulted by police, the most serious of at least three attacks on journalists reporting on demonstrations on Monday, news reports said. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the assaults and calls on police to hold the assailants accountable under the law.

Blog   |   Russia

Ahead of elections, Russian media are duly warned

Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta is suffering from a raid and audit on its major shareholder. (AP)

Russia's leading independent media head into Sunday's elections--in which Vladimir Putin is expected to be handed his third presidential term--burdened by a series of warnings. Over the past few months, beginning with the parliamentary elections held December 4, Kremlin allies have taken several steps designed to put news outlets on alert for uncensored coverage of nationwide protests, in which a surprising number of Russians have demanded an end to elections fraud and called on Putin to step down from his current post of prime minister.

Attacks on the Press   |   Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Fighting Impunity

The global rate of unpunished murders remains stubbornly high at just below 90 percent. Senior officials in the most dangerous countries are finally acknowledging the problem -- the first step in what will be a long, hard battle. By Elisabeth Witchel

Attacks on the Press   |   Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Evolution in Journalist Security

A journalist crouches behind a cement block during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

The danger of covering violent street protests has become a significant risk for journalists, alongside combat and targeted killings. Sexual assault, organized crime, and digital vulnerability are also hazards. The security industry is struggling to keep up. By Frank Smyth

Attacks on the Press   |   Russia

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Impunity Still the Norm in Russia

Russian investigators have adopted a more serious tone when discussing unsolved journalist murders, but officials still lack the will to apprehend masterminds of the killings. The lack of convictions takes a serious toll on investigative journalism. By Nina Ognianova

Attacks on the Press   |   Russia

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Russia

Authorities detained at least six journalists covering December protests over flawed parliamentary elections, but in a rare phenomenon Kremlin-controlled television reported on demonstrations that brought tens of thousands of Muscovites onto the streets. In December, a gunman killed the founder of the weekly Chernovik, the 20th work-related murder in Russia since 2000. CPJ advocated extensively against impunity in anti-press attacks, calling on the European Commission to press the issue in meetings with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Authorities made progress in two murder cases. In April, two suspects were found guilty in the 2009 murders of journalist Anastasiya Baburova and human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov; in May, the defendants were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. The suspected gunman and several suspected organizers in the 2006 killing of Anna Politkovskaya were indicted. But impunity prevailed in the savage beatings of journalists Mikhail Beketov and Oleg Kashin. Authorities retaliated against one international reporter. Luke Harding, Moscow correspondent for The Guardian of London, was barred from re-entering the country in February after writing about U.S. diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks that described Kremlin officials in unflattering terms.

February 21, 2012 12:53 AM ET

Blog   |   Russia

Ekho Moskvy board shuffled ahead of Russian election

A poster depicts Vladimir Putin as the Grim Reaper on one of Ekho Moskvy's studio doors. (CPJ/Nina Ognianova)

The Russian blogosphere erupted with comments today following an announcement that the board of directors of the iconic radio station, Ekho Moskvy, will be changed. The timing of the development--weeks before presidential elections--and the potential consequences for Ekho's editorial policy threw listeners into a frenzy of worry and speculation.

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