Russia: pertinent threats to free press

“The European Union calls on the Russian authorities to condemn and investigate threats made by the Chechen government authorities against journalist Elena Milashina (pictured), and to ensure her safety.

“The EU condemns unequivocally all threats, verbal attacks or violence against journalists in pursuit of their work. Over recent years, we have seen that the space for independent journalism and civil society in the Russian Federation has decreased. Incidents of intimidation, threats and violence against journalists are frequently reported. We expect the Russian Federation to uphold its international and domestic obligations and to ensure that journalists are able to work in a safe environment without fear of reprisal.

“We also urge the Russian authorities to investigate fully the attack against Elena Milashina and lawyer Marina Dubrovina on 6 February, in order to bring those responsible to justice. We are concerned at other attempts to silence journalists, including the criminal prosecution of journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva, who is charged with justifying terrorism for her critical remarks concerning the Russian authorities and may face up to 7 years of imprisonment. The freedom of the media must be respected and the charges against her dropped.”

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