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Detention of Editor-in-Chief Highlights the Attacks on Journalism

Today, a court in Moscow sentenced Sergei Smirnov, editor-in-chief of the independent “Mediazona” news outlet, to 25 days in detention for “repeated violation” of the public assemblies’ rules. His offense? Retweeting a humorous tweet about Smirnov’…
The Editor-in-Chief of Mediazona, Sergey Smirnov, in front of Pskov Regional Court, after the trial of Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, Pskov, Russia, July 6 2020.
News

Irina Slavina’s Death Follows Police Raid on Her Apartment

Journalist and publisher Irina Slavina (Murakhtayeva) died after setting herself on fire on October 2, a day after a police raid on her apartment and following years of harassment by Russian authorities and others. Slavina ran Koza Press, an…
Irina Slavina poses in Nizhniy Novgorod, March 2019, in a photo posted to social media.
News

Authorities Abuse Criminal Justice to Silence Independent Media

Today, a Russian court sentenced journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva to a fine of 500,000 rubles (approx. USD$ 7000) on bogus terrorism charges. The conviction of the journalist, who works for the Echo of Moscow and Radio Free Europe, is another…
Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva (left) attends the trial in the Second Western District Military Court.
News

Authorities Should End Sham Prosecutions and Allow Free Debate

Today, the trial against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva is set to start in Pskov, Russia, on groundless charges of publicly supporting terrorism. Authorities have indicted her for “public incitement to terrorist activity, public justification or…
Светлана Прокопьева выступает на презентации книги в Москве.
News

Russia Needs More, not Less, Independent Reporting

This week brought the bombshell announcement that Ivan Safronov and Maxim Ivanov, two veteran reporters for Kommersant, were pressured into resigning, spurring the paper’s entire politics desk to quit in protest. The business newspaper…
A general view shows the Spasskaya Tower and the Kremlin wall in central Moscow, Russia, May 5, 2016.
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Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Authorities Say Posting is ‘Incitement to Terrorism’

In the early hours of May 18, a team of police and security officials raided the apartment of Viktor Korb, a journalist from Omsk. One of the agents shoved a search warrant in Korb’s face and the team conducted a 10-hour search, turning…
Russian journalist Viktor Korb.
News

Violent Attack on Echo of Moscow Reporter Reminder of Vitriol Against Kremlin Critics

Independent journalists have known for some time now that Russia is far from a safe place for them to work. Today’s violent attack on Tatyana Felgengauer, deputy editor of the Russian radio station Echo of Moscow, is a bone-chilling reminder of…
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News

4 Sentenced to Prison for Operating ‘Extremist Organization’

This week, a Moscow court found four members of the group For Responsible Government guilty of operating an “extremist organization” and handed down prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half to four years. One of them,…
Screenshot from video depicting, from left to right, Kirill Barabash, Alexander Sokolov, and Valery Parfenov in the courtroom, Moscow, August 10, 2017.
News

Journalists’ Trial Part of Vicious Crackdown on Independent Voices

A journalist prosecuted for allegedly helping a group which he spent years criticizing in his work. Emails received – but not answered – from people the government views as undesirables, and newspaper clippings presented as evidence of…
A demonstration outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey in solidarity with the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on trial over alleged support to terrorist groups, July 24, 2017.
News

Annual Day Promotes Accountability for Attacks on the Media

For reporters at risk around the world – because they’re exposing corruption, covering conflict, or afflicting the comfortable – today matters: it’s the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. You’d think a group of professional…
Somali photojournalist runs for cover while reporting on fighting between the Somali government and African Union forces against the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, April 2012.
News
The Internet has been long described as an “island of freedom” in Russia’s dramatically shrinking space for free speech – the cyber inheritor of the kitchen, which was the only (relatively) safe place for debate in the Soviet era. But, alarmed by this…
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As of today, the only television station in Crimea that broadcasts in Crimean Tatar, Ukrainian and Russian languages, ATR, ceased operating. It was forced to shut down because it was not able to re-register under Russian law by the April 1 deadline.   The…
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The choice of Turkey as the location for the world’s annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) might have been the conference’s most fundamental problem. But it was not the only one. Thousands of stakeholders from around the globe gathered to discuss how to…
News
I do not recall a more dramatic silencing of the media in post-SovietRussia. First the editor ofLenta.ru, an independent, online news service, was fired on March 12, the day the news portal received a warning from Roskomnadzor, the Russian state body for…
News
Prime Minister Erdoğan’s speech today announcing the long-awaited “democracy reform package” is the Turkish government’s first attempt to turn the page after the harsh clampdown that began in May with the Taksim Gezi park protests. It has also been seen…