Russia: Journalists demand investigation into possible threat against Venedictov
The Committee for the Defence of Journalists, the Russian Union of Journalists and the Centre for Extreme Journalism have called on the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation of an incident involving the Chief Editor of the radio station Echo Moskvy, Alexei Venedictov. “Caucasian Knot” reports tat Venedictov found an axe by his door and a video camera directed at his flat.
The journalists associations state that they link this with Venedictovs professional activities and see it as a serious threat.
“Venedictov heads one of the independent and most courageous radio stations in Russia which is not afraid to broadcast various critical voices. Given the high level of violation and intimidation of members of the press, the Russian authorities must take this incident extremely seriously.”, Igor Yakovenko, Secretary of the Union of Journalists, stated.
Oleg Panfilov from the Centre for Extreme Journalism also sees the incident as a threat. He speaks of threats in the past, then adds: “The political situation in the country has become so charged that I fear the number of threats against members of the press and the number of attacks on journalists will increase”.
Alexei Venedictov made the discovery on 5 February and called the police who removed a log, axe and video camera. Venedictov has made a formal complaint and application for an investigation to be carried out. The police officers themselves believe that the incident was intended to intimidate the Chief Editor in connection with his professional activities.
From information at www.grani.ru