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How Russian State TV Is Reporting The U.S. Protests; Bulgaria’s ‘Totalitarian Instinct’; Tajikistan Under Covid-19

Russia – Olga Shirnina, a Russian colorist. Date unknown.
Russia – Olga Shirnina, a Russian colorist. Date unknown.

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Russian State TV Coverage Of U.S. Protests Highlights Violence And Fear
Russian state TV channels have devoted extensive coverage to mass protests in the United States. Comments by prominent anchors include: “The anarchy that reigns on the streets is more and more reminiscent of the movie The Joker – coronavirus, unemployment, lockdown, war.” (Channel 1); “You could get hit by a rubber bullet, or maybe a real one.” (Channel Rossiya); “The police in America is a source of fear for everyone, they can shoot you when checking your driver's license, if the officer thinks you may be reaching for a gun.” (NTV). Current Time’s See Both Sides program observes that when the same protests occur in Russia, the same broadcasters refer to the protests as “illegal actions,” and to the participants as “provocateurs.” Recently, Russian journalist and MP Ilya Azar was arrested on May 26 and handed a 15-day jail term for holding a peaceful, one-man picket. (video, in Russian)

Russian Activists Detained For Protesting Against Jailing Of Journalist
Activists were detained in Moscow and St. Petersburg on May 29 after protesting against a 15-day jail sentence handed down to prominent Russian journalist Ilya Azar. Azar was arrested for holding a one-person protest in support of activist Vladimir Vorontsov, who has worked to expose alleged violations within Russia's law enforcement agencies. (video)

Detention Extended Of Suspects In Russian Journalist's Illegal Arrest
A Moscow court has extended the pretrial detention of four former Moscow police officers suspected of the illegal arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov last year. The same court extended the house arrest of the fifth suspect in the case, former police officer Denis Konovalov, who has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Ex-Minister Takes Aim At Bulgaria’s ‘Totalitarian Instinct’
Daniel Mitov, a former Bulgarian foreign minister who has since been targeted by the country's courts, has vowed to help pull back the curtain on autocratic tendencies and anti-Western elements in the European Union's poorest state. In an interview with RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service, he spoke about a "totalitarian instinct" in public institutions in postcommunist Bulgaria that has lessons that go beyond politics.

Kyrgyz Investigators Criticized After Alleging That RFE/RL Reporters Were Paid In Money-Laundering Probe
Two lawmakers and a prominent legal expert in Kyrgyzstan have criticized Kyrgyzstan's state security service after it made unsubstantiated claims that reporters with RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service received $100,000 from a self-proclaimed money launderer who served as the journalists' source in a major corruption investigation. RFE/RL President Jamie Fly condemned “such efforts to distort the truth,” and called on Kyrgyz authorities “to ensure that those responsible for threatening and attempting to intimidate journalists” are held accountable for their actions.

Journalists, NGOs Urge Tajik Government To 'Thoroughly' Investigate Journalist's Beatings
Fifteen nongovernmental organizations in Tajikistan, along with several noted journalists, have urged officials to "thoroughly" investigate the recent beatings of Abdulloh Ghurbati, a journalist working for the independent Asia Plus news agency. He was attacked twice last month in the southern Khatlon region when reporting about the aftermath of a recent landslide that killed two men.

After Crushing Anti-Government Rallies At Home, Iran Expresses Support For U.S. Protesters
On June 1, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi made a rare statement in English to directly appeal to Americans and express support for what he termed their "outcry over state oppression" in protesting Georgie Floyd's death.

INFOGRAPHIC: One In Four Russians Don’t Believe The Pandemic Is Real

LISTEN: RFE/RL President Jamie Fly discusses mounting pressure on independent media with the Power 3.0 podcast

WATCH: RFE/RL’s Salimjon Aioubov discusses political security, human stability, and the media in Tajikistan in the time of Covid-19 with GW’s Central Asia Program

PRESSROOM: Government Secrecy Is Not An Effective Coronavirus Strategy, RFE/RL Reporting Shows

About Journalists in Trouble

Journalists in Trouble is a monthly report of incidents targeting RFE/RL journalists and their work, and developments affecting press freedom in our coverage region.​

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