Reporter beaten in North Ossetian capital

FEBRUARY 3, 2006

Olga Kiry, Channel One

Kiry, a North Ossetia correspondent for the national television station Channel One, was beaten when reporting at a hospital in the North Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz. Kiry tried to report on the condition of patients hospitalized with serious injuries resulting from explosions at local gambling parlors the night before. Two people died in the blasts and 29 were injured, according to local press reports.

Kiry and her crew arrived at the hospital at around 2 a.m. on February 3 to report on the injuries. Three uniformed officers approached and shouted that journalists did not have the right to film on hospital grounds, the news agency RIA Novosti and the news Web site Gazeta reported. The officers pushed Kiry into a room and shut the door, and one started beating her with fists and kicking her in the face and chest, according to those reports. Kiry sustained a concussion and multiple bruises.

Kiry reported the attack to regional police, who opened a criminal case. One officer was detained several days later and charged with abuse of office and preventing a journalist from doing her job. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted, the business daily Kommersant reported.