Russia: Union takes up cases of journalists beaten and arrested while covering protests

Dozens of journalists and media workers were arrested and beaten by the police on January 23 while covering protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Russia. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in condemning violence against media workers and urges the authorities to respect freedom of information.


On Saturday, across Russia, tens of thousands of people defied a heavy police presence to join some of the largest rallies against President Vladimir Putin in years. OVD Info, an independent NGO that monitors rallies, said about 3,100 people had been detained, more than 1,200 of them in Moscow alone.

The RUJ has pledged to provide legal support to media professionals who need it after registering dozens of cases of detention and violence against journalists while covering the protests in different Russian cities. Most of them were released after their documentation was reviewed by police officers.

Among the cases the RUJ reported were the detention of Ruslan Valiev (“Echo of Moscow”) in Ufa, journalists from “Tatar-inform” agency, Efir TV channel and “Kazan Reporter” in Kazan, “66.RU” photo reporter Alexey Shkola in Yekaterinburg, and “Krasnaya Moskva” journalist Ilya Matushkin in Saratov, among others.

In Moscow, “Novaya Gazeta” correspondent Elizaveta Kirpanova and “Meduza” journalist Kristina Safonova were injured. Dozhd TV’s correspondent Alexei Korostelev was detained. The police smashed with a truncheon the camera of “Novaya Gazeta” correspondent Victoria Odissonova. “AvtozakLive” journalist Nikita Stupin said he received an electric shock.

The RUJ said they will continue monitoring the situation and offered legal assistance to affected journalists.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “Once again, Russian media workers suffer arbitrary detention, violence and intimidation while covering demonstrations and events of public interest. We stand in solidarity with Russian journalists and urge the authorities to stop harassing and intimidating the media”.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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