Vilnius, Lithuania, July 23, 2020 — Russian authorities should conduct a swift and transparent investigation into the assault of journalist Dmitriy Nizovtsev and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
This evening, three unidentified men attacked Nizovtsev, a correspondent for Shtab Navalnogo, a YouTube-based news outlet owned by opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, near the journalist’s house in the eastern city of Khabarovsk, according to news reports and posts on Nizovtsev’s Twitter account.
Nizovtsev tweeted that the men hit him with their hands and then kicked him in the face when he fell to the ground, and he tweeted a photo of his bruised face.
In another tweet, he wrote that he had been taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a facial bone fracture. He also wrote that he planned to file a complaint with police.
“Journalists working with opposition leader Aleksey Navalny or covering events organized by him are often targeted and persecuted, and Dmitriy Nizovtsev is just the latest victim of such repression,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. “Russian authorities must find Nizovtsev’s attackers and hold them to account, and ensure that journalists can safely work for opposition figures.”
The assault took place after Nizovtsev livestreamed protests in Khabarovsk on Shtab Navalnogo earlier today.
Nizovtsev wrote on Twitter that he called the police after the attack, but said they did not arrive.
CPJ called the Khabarovsk police for comment, but no one answered.
Rallies supporting the former governor of Khabarovsk, Sergei Furgal, have been ongoing since Furgal’s firing earlier this month, and have included calls for President Vladimir Putin’s resignation, according to reports.