Rights advocates turn to law enforcement over journalists’ arrest at Moscow rally
MOSCOW, August 9 (RAPSI) – The Presidential Council for Human Rights has applied to the heads of Russia’s Interior Ministry, National Guard, Investigative Committee and Prosecutor General’s Office over obstructing media activity and arrest of journalists at unauthorized rallies in Moscow, the advisory body’s press service informs.
Impeding legal journalist activity, sometimes with the use of force, carries elements of crime, the statement reads.
According to the rights advocates, when covering recent unauthorized public events in Moscow, reporters from Reuters, Vedomosti, RBC, Dozhd, Snob, White News and Komsomol Truth newspaper were arrested although they had journalist cards. Moreover, an RBC correspondent and an Associated Press photographer got blows from unidentified police officers.
The Council has asked law enforcement to make enquiry over alleged violence against journalists and act appropriately.
Unauthorized rallies in support of candidates seeking to become lawmakers of the Moscow State Duma but refused registration by the Election Commission were held on July 27 and August 3 in central Moscow. Over 1,000 people were arrested for various violations as a result.
Following the 27 July rally, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over mass riots. Investigators believe that the protest action was held with the use of force against representatives of authority.
Several opposition figures including Alexey Navalny, Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Yahin were arrested and put in detention for alleged organization of an unauthorized rally.