Russian journalists detained at post-election rally

March 5, 2012–The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed that three journalists and one blogger covering opposition protests in Russia are being held without charge in a Moscow police station.

“We call for the immediate release of Pavel Nikulin, Maria Klimova, Andrei Stenin, and Arkady Babchenko, who were doing their job as reporters covering an opposition protest,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator, Nina Ognianova. “Russian authorities must adhere to their international press freedom and freedom of expression commitments, and allow the media to cover events around the presidential vote without fear of reprisal.”

CPJ has confirmed that Pavel Nikulin, reporter with Moskovskiye Novosti daily; Maria Klimova, reporter with the news website Ridus; Andrei Stenin, photojournalist with RIA Novosti news agency; and popular blogger Arkady Babchenko were rounded up when covering an opposition protest close to Lubyanka metro station in Moscow earlier today. They are currently held without charge at Moscow’s Yakimanka police station.