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."
An investigative journalist and a blogger attacked in Russia
April 27, 2017 3:56 PM ET
New York, April 27, 2017--Russian authorities should thoroughly investigate two attacks against journalists yesterday and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
New York, April 20, 2017-- Russian federal authorities should swiftly bring to justice all those responsible for the murder of Nikolai Andrushchenko, co-founder of the weekly newspaper Novy Peterburg, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalist, known for his reporting on corruption and police brutality, died in...
Chechen official and preachers threaten Novaya Gazeta journalists
April 14, 2017 3:41 PM ET
New York, April 14, 2017--Russian authorities should investigate threats preachers and an adviser to the Chechen president made against the staff of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and should ensure the journalists' safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
New York, March 27, 2017--Russian security forces should cease harassing and obstructing journalists covering protests and other events, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Russian media reported that at least 11 journalists were detained yesterday while reporting on nationwide protests. All have since been released....