Bill seeks to label critical journalists extremists
June 30, 2006 12:00 PM ET
New York, June 30, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a bill before the Russian Parliament that broadens the definition of extremism to include media criticism of public officials. The draft legislation allows for imprisonment of up to three years for journalists, and the suspension or closure of their publication, if convicted of extremism, according to Russian press reports and CPJ sources.
The lower house of Parliament approved the amendments to the Law on Fighting Extremist Activity in a first reading on Wednesday despite objections from opposition parties, human rights activists, and independent media. If the bill is passed in two subsequent readings, it would go to the upper house, which, critics say, could rubber-stamp it without debate. The second reading is expected next week, CPJ sources said.
Amendments to Article 1 of the law broaden the definition of extremist activity to include “public slander directed toward figures fulfilling the state duties of the Russian Federation,” as well as “interfering with the legal duties of organs of state authorities,” The Associated Press reported. Such vague language allows public officials to interpret the law as they please and effectively target their critics, CPJ sources said.
“These amendments would effectively label bold journalists ’extremists,’ and further chill what little critical coverage exists in Russia today,” CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper said. "We call on lawmakers to overturn the bill on a second reading."
Ukrainian reporter held by Moscow-backed separatists forced to confess in Russia state TV interview
August 22, 2018 4:33 PM ET
New York, August 22, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Russian state-run TV channel Rossiya 24's broadcast of an interview with Stanislav Aseyev, a Ukrainian reporter held for more than a year by Russia-backed separatists, in which he falsely confessed to spying for Ukraine. CPJ also reiterates its call...
Killing of 3 Russian investigative journalists in Central African Republic must be probed
August 1, 2018 5:17 PM ET
New York, August 1, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Central African Republic, Russia, and the U.N. to investigate the deaths of three Russian journalists killed while on assignment in CAR....
New York, July 3, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Russian authorities to refrain from labeling individual bloggers and journalists as foreign agents. The State Duma's information and communication committee today approved legislation that would allow authorities to label private persons as foreign agents if they work...
New York, June 19, 2018--Russian authorities should immediately release jailed journalist Aleksandr Valov and ensure that he receives necessary medical care, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The editor-in-chief and founder of local news website BlogSochi, who has been in detention since January on extortion charges, was hospitalized...
Ukraine authorities search Russian news agency, detain director
May 15, 2018 6:11 PM ET
New York, May 15, 2018--The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern over the Ukraine Security Service's (SBU) search of the Kiev office of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti and detention of the office director, Kirill Vyshynsky....