World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Russia, 9 November 2010

Protest Campaign - Russia, 9 November 2010

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WAN-IFRA calls on Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to ensure that widespread attacks on journalists are aggressively prosecuted following the attempted murder of newspaper reporter Oleg Kashin.

His Excellency President Dmitry Medvedev
Moscow, Russia

9 November 2010


Your Excellency,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at the attempted murder of newspaper reporter Oleg Kashin and the impunity that surrounds attacks on journalists in Russia.

According to reports, Mr Kashin, a reporter for the business daily Kommersant, was attacked on 6 November outside his Moscow apartment building. He suffered a fractured jaw, broken legs and injuries to his fingers and skull after being beaten, and has since undergone two operations. Kommersant editor Mikhail Mikhailin claims that the attack was retribution for articles written by Mr Kashin, who had recently covered anti-Kremlin protests and extremist rallies. Mr Kashin was also recently identified as a "media saboteur" who should be punished by the Molodaya Gvardia youth group linked to the ruling United Russia party.

We are also concerned at reports of attacks on two regional reporters on 8 November. Anatoly Adamchuk, a reporter for the weekly Zhukovskiye Vesti on the outskirts of Moscow, and Sergei Mikhailov, editor of the Volga region's Saratovsky Reporter, were beaten in separate incidents. Both journalists were reportedly covering similar issues to Mr Kashin.

While welcoming your appointment of the Prosecutor General to oversee the case and your remarks that "the criminals must be found and punished", we are alarmed at the culture of impunity that surrounds attacks on journalists, which stifles criticism and can lead to self-censorship. There have reportedly been 19 murders of journalists in Russia since 2000 that remain unsolved. We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to carry out their professional duties without fear of violence.

We call on you to take all necessary steps to ensure that those responsible for murdering and ordering the murder of Mr Kashin are quickly brought to justice. We ask you to do everything in your power to end the culture of impunity that exists in Russia and to ensure that in future your country fully respects international standards of press freedom.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin O'Reilly
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Xavier Vidal-Folch
World Editors Forum


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2010-11-09 01:00

Media employees worldwide face physical violence and persecution of all kinds, whether from public officials, criminals or terrorists. Assaults are daily - and often deadly - for those who challenge governments, report on conflicts or investigate corruption and crime. Read more ...

In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...