Russia / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Russia since 1992

  

Rimma Maksimova died seven years ago. Her fight to bring her son’s killers to justice lives on.

Rimma Maksimova spent the final decade of her life fighting two battles: one against the bone cancer that would eventually kill her and another for justice in her son’s murder. A few years before her death in 2014, she filed a case against Russia with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). She would not…

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A woman throws a paper plane into the blue sky.

Russia couldn’t block Telegram, but harassment, propaganda make it hostile for journalists

Telegram was meant to be blocked in Russia in April 2020 when Aleksandr Pichugin published a satirical article about the spread of COVID-19 on his channel Sorokin Khvost – an allusion to a Russian version of the saying, “A little bird told me.” Four days later, uniformed officers came to the journalist’s home and pushed…

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Women ‘have finally started talking’: Three female journalists on covering sexual violence in Russia

Reporting on gender-based violence in Russia has become more challenging in recent years. In 2017 the government controversially decriminalized some forms of domestic violence, leading to a sharp drop in reported incidents, which journalists told CPJ does not reflect the true scope of the problem. And last year, Russia passed a new libel law to punish false accusers of sexual assault, leaving journalists…

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Meet Mediazona, the punk rock-founded Russian news outlet whose editor was jailed for a tweet

Of the more than 100 Russian journalists who have been arrested or fined covering rallies in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Mediazona chief editor Sergey Smirnov has become a symbol of the absurd lengths to which Russian authorities are willing to go to quash coverage of the events.  On January 20, Smirnov retweeted another person’s tweet saying…

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To police, ‘the camera is like a red cloth to a bull’: four journalists on covering Russia’s pro-Navalny protests

On January 23, Russia erupted in nationwide demonstrations against the January 17 arrest of Alexei Navalny. The opposition leader was taken into custody at a Moscow airport when he flew home after five months in Berlin, where he was undergoing medical treatment after having been poisoned. (He alleges the Russian government is responsible; Russian president…

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Crimean Tatar civic journalists risk persecution to cover their community in Russian-annexed Crimea

After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, some Crimean Tatars–the indigenous population of the Crimean peninsula–had to flee for the Kyiv-controlled part of Ukraine. But most have chosen to remain. As the Russian-appointed new authorities established blanket censorship, squeezing out independent media outlets, a new phenomenon emerged–civic journalism. Members of the Crimean Tatar community–who had not…

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Russian journalist Abdulmumin Gadzhiev: Jailed ‘without a single proof of his guilt’

Abdulmumin Gadzhiev, religion section editor of the independent newspaper Chernovik, has been in pre-trial detention in Makhachkala, in the Russian republic of Dagestan, since his June 14, 2019, arrest on terrorism charges, according to CPJ research. On March 27, 2020, authorities filed new charges against Gadzhiev, accusing him of participation in an extremist organization, as…

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Tech platforms struggle to label state-controlled media

Twitter announced last week that it would start labeling some accounts run by media outlets and their top editors as “state-affiliated,” a descriptor intended to improve transparency about the source of information being shared on the platform.  Since disinformation became a flash point in the debate over content moderation on social media, distinguishing propaganda from…

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Freelancer Vladimir Sevrinovsky on covering COVID-19 in the North Caucasus: ‘The main misinformation I fight is from the state’

Vladimir Sevrinovsky is a Moscow-based freelance journalist and documentary photographer who has covered social and cultural issues in Russia for independent news site Meduza, independent weekly Russkii Reporter, and Kavkaz.Realii, a regional service of the U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others. Sevrinovsky’s most recent assignment was to report from Russia’s North Caucasus…

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A National Guard officer is seen in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on March 26, 2020. CPJ recently spoke with several people close to imprisoned journalists in Europe and Central Asia about the challenges of observing Ramadan behind bars. (AFP/Vyacheslav Oseledko)

COVID-19 lockdowns pose challenges for imprisoned journalists observing Ramadan

This year, the Islamic month of Ramadan, which started on April 24 and will continue through May 23, is particularly challenging for Muslim journalists in jail to observe safely, their family members and friends told CPJ.

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