Russia: Journalist assaulted and seriously injured by police

Russian journalist and photographer David Frenkel was assaulted and seriously injured by a policeman at a polling station in St. Petersburg on 2 July during voting on a constitutional amendment which would potentially allow President Putin to stay in power. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Russsian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in condemning the incident and urges the authorities to hold the police officers accountable.

Screenshot of the aggression of two police officers against journalist David Frenkel

Video footage shows two police officers assaulting David Frenkel and knocking him to the floor after a brief discussion. Doctors diagnosed Frenkel with a fractured arm after the incident.


Mediazona, the media for which Frenkel works, said the officers tried to kick him out of the venue. The journalist had arrived after an election monitor complained that they were being forced out.

RUJ President, Vladimir Solovyov, condemned the attack against the journalist and said such actions are "unacceptable." The union also offered Frenkel legal assistance.

According to media reports, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov said the attack should be "thoroughly checked and investigated." Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia Tatyana Moskalkova also demanded an investigation of the incident. 

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: "Police brutality against journalists who are merely doing their job is unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with David and urge the authorities to investigate the incident. Attacks on journalists can't go unpunished".

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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