Monday, November 8, 2010

Journalism in Russia

The BBC reports that Anatoliy Adamchuk, from the Zhukovskiye Vesti suburban Moscow weekly was attacked and badly beaten just days after one of the more or less independent newspaper Kommersant's Oleg Kashin had been severely beaten outside his home. Mr Adamchuk had been reporting about children protesting about the cutting down of the well known and very popular Khimki forest being arrested. Mr Kashin had been reporting on the building of the motorway across the forest and the protests against it. The motorway has now been put on hold by the government, which, presumably, means that the mess created by the uncompleted construction will remain there as a dangerous eyesore.

President Medvedev announced that Oleg Kashin's attackers will be punished. As I recall every time there is an attack on a well known person, particularly a journalist, investigator or human rights activist, he promises to find and punish the attackers. We are still waiting in the cases of Politkovskaya, Estemirova and numerous others. Here is an account of a vicious beating doled out not so long ago: the victim was another activist who has been trying to prevent the destruction of the Khimki forest, Konstantin Fetisov.

The Russian Union of Journalists has demanded greater protection from the government (which must have made those who wrote the press release smile) and proper investigation of all cases as well as punishment for the criminals. (Statement in Russian and in English of a kind) The statement also refers to the various cases when journalists were prevented by officials from carrying out their duties, often through dubious accusations and arrests.

I wonder how their pension funds are doing.

1 comment:

  1. Comrades, you can't make an omelet without breaking heads.