Hundreds of mourners bid farewell on October 6 to independent Russian journalist Irina Slavina, who died after setting herself on fire in an apparent reaction to investigators trying to tie her to an opposition group and what's been described as years of harassment by authorities. Before her October 2 suicide in front of police headquarters in the city of Nizhniy Novgorod, Slavina wrote on Facebook, "Blame the Russian Federation for my death." Regional Governor 'Mourns' Russian Journalist's Death After Self-Immolation.
INCIDENTS AND THREATS
As riots broke out in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on October 5, hundreds of protesters gathered on the streets, setting garbage cans on fire and throwing stones at security forces, who responded with force. The video shows a Current Time TV reporter being fired at with rubber bullets by police. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Armenian authorities have canceled the accreditation of journalist Ilya Azar, a Moscow-based correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, after he reported that scores of lives had been lost in the military conflict that broke out on September 27 in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
A court in Montenegro has sentenced award-winning investigative journalist Jovo Martinovic to one year in prison following a retrial on drug-trafficking charges -- a ruling condemned by media watchdogs as an attack on press freedom in the Balkan country. The High Court of Montenegro on October 8 found Martinovic, who has reported widely on organized crime and war crimes for both local and foreign media outlets, guilty of mediation in drug trafficking, and sentenced him to one year in prison. RSF, Others Urge Montenegrin Judges To Acquit Journalist In Retrial.
The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court decision to extend the pretrial arrest of former Moscow police illegal drugs department chief Igor Lyakhovets, one of several former police officers suspected in the illegal apprehension of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov last year. The court ruling on October 7 upholds the Basmanny district court's September ruling to prolong Lyakhovets' pretrial detention until December 7.
Kyrgyz Central Election Commission confirmed the facts of violation of the rights of journalists. Members of the commission. Speaking on air with RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service, member the commission Atyr Abdrakhmatova confirmed “cases when journalists were not allowed to the polling stations,” noting that those instances are being investigated. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Current Time TV compares Azeri vs. Armenian coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Both appear to go into a propaganda mode. At the same time Russian state media appears more neutral, while the head of RT Margarita Simonyan openly supports Armenia. Current time TV speaks with political scientist Ivan Preobrazhensky. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The head of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin spoke out in support of his adviser, former journalist Ivan Safronov, who was arrested in July 2020 on charges of treason. Rogozin said he doesn’t “believe in [Safronov’s] betrayal,” but said the investigation might prove something else. (Russian Service)
RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Artyom Radygin was detained for several hours on the morning of October 7 while covering the rally by members of Pussy Riot against state homophobia, coinciding with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 68th birthday. Radygin’s phone and a flash card were confiscated and a protocol was drawn up against him for alleged violations of procedures for organizing and holding mass events, sanitary and preventive rules for the prevention of COVID-19, as well as disobeying the legal requirements of government officials. (Russian Service)
The RFE/RL Russian Service reporting project Northern.Realities reports that searches were conducted on October 2 at the offices of the Kaliningrad-based newspaper “Novye Kolyosa” [New Wheels]. Officially, the search took place as part of an investigation into a published report on corruption in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Newspaper publisher Igor Rudnikov told RFE/RL that police are trying to “paralyze the work of the editorial board, but our site is working.” This was the fourth search to date of the media outlet. (Russian Service/Northern.Realities)
The RFE/RL Russian Service reporting project Siberia.Realities was informed by the human rights NGO Agora that a court in Russia’s Altai region in southern Siberia closed two administrative cases into the alleged dissemination of fake news that had been filed against journalist Sergei Mikhailov. The judge dismissed the cases due to a lack of evidence indicating a violation of the law. Mikhailov was accused of reporting inaccurate information about coronavirus fatalities. (Russian Service, Siberia.Realities)