Moscow police must investigate attacks on journalists
Police and protesters at Pushkin Square on Monday. (AP/Sergey Ponomarev)
A reporter covering a post-election protest in Moscow suffered a concussion after being assaulted by police, the most serious of at least three attacks on journalists reporting on demonstrations on Monday, news reports said. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the assaults and calls on police to hold the assailants accountable under the law.
Ulyana Malashenko, a reporter for Kommersant FM, the broadcasting arm of the independent business daily Kommersant, was hospitalized after being struck twice in the head with a baton by police dispersing a crowd at Lubyanka Square, the independent news website
Police were faulted in a second episode as well. Pavel Nikulin, a reporter with the dailyMoskovskiye Novosti, told CPJ that police roughed him up during an opposition protest near the Lubyanka metro station. Nikulin told CPJ that a commanding officer identified as Captain Ilya Teleshov seized his press card and ordered him placed in a police van. Nikulin was detained for a couple hours before being freed.
Aleksandr Borzenko, a reporter with the radio station Ekho Moskvy, was attacked by several unidentified assailants while covering a march by nationalist groups, local media reported. Borzenko told the independent daily
"We are appalled by the assault of our colleagues by police and call on the Moscow police chief to investigate all attacks and bring to justice the assailants, including his own officers, " said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney. "Authorities must ensure that journalists report on the protest without obstruction or fear of assault."