Russia and former Soviet states emboldened by declining press freedom in US, Europe

By Nina Ognianova/CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator on October 4, 2017 3:30 PM ET

Receding media freedom in established European democracies and in the United States has emboldened authoritarian governments in Russia and other former Soviet countries to crack down on independent voices at home. I am sharing this information today with the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe-known as the Helsinki Commission-and the House Freedom of the Press Caucus at a joint briefing in Washington, D.C.

Impunity in the killings of journalists and prosecutions of journalists in retaliation for their work have a chilling effect on press freedom in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan. In the case of Azerbaijan, the government has also recently reached across international borders to silence its critics.

The U.S. must not forgo its role as a moral authority and bastion of press freedom. The embattled journalists in former Soviet states continue to look to Washington for solidarity and support. Read my full testimony here.


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