IFJ Accuses Russia of “Intolerance of News Media” After Journalists Are Held

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today protested Russian authorities’ treatment of two Dutch journalists who were roughed up and detained while covering a an anti-government demonstration.

“The treatment of our colleagues was unacceptable and a fresh example of the intolerance of legitimate journalism and news media by the authorities,” said IFJ Human Rights Officer Rachel Cohen.

On 24 March, Dutch foreign correspondents Remco Reiding, a journalist for De Journalist and Dutch press association GPD, and Jelle Brandt Corstius, a journalist for Trouw, covered an unauthorized demonstration against the Russian government that was held in Nizjni Novgorod. Even though they were clearly working as reporters and taking photos, in possession of press credentials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had informed the local police of their attendance, they were treated roughly and taken to the police station in Nizjni Novgorod and held for 1.5 hours, according to press reports.

Reiding was punched in the face by police even though he showed his press credentials as soon as he arrived at the protest. Other journalists were also detained by the local police.

The IFJ is backing its affiliate the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) in its call for authorities to provide more information about the journalists’ detention and to make a public apology.

In a conversation with the two journalists, the Dutch ambassador to Russia called the situation “unacceptable”. The Dutch embassy in Moscow will request clarification from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the situation, as requested by the Dutch liberal party (VVD).

For more information contact the IFJ at 32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries worldwide