Press release, Kirkenes, Murmansk, Luleå, Oulu, September 29th 2015
On Monday 28th of September, Thomas Nilsen was fired from his position as chief editor of the online news site BarentsObserver by the owners of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, the three Northern Norwegian county administrations.
STATEMENT FROM BARENTS PRESS INTERNATIONAL, CONCERNING THE RESTRICTION OF BARENTSOBSERVERS' EDITORIAL FREEDOM
Journalist's rights were violated in Murmansk city council
Nadezda Sarsakova, correspondent of the paper «Territoria zakona» (Murmansk), addressed Barents Press Web-site with a letter about facts of counteraction to her journalistic work. We publish fragments of the letter and commentary by Murmansk Union of Journalists board member Svetlana Soldatova.
From Nadezda Sarsakova's letter and her appeal to Murmansk police:
«On May 27 and June 3 I had my first experience to meet rude counteraction to my journalistic work. A man «in civvies» - they said he was the chief of the guard — was very rude and aggressive to me. It looked as if he was ready to fight. I appealed to the police».
In her appeal to Murmansk police chief officer P. Karanda Nadezda Sarsakova described two situations. She is an accredited journalist having official access to the Council's sittings. Her documents answer all demands. On May 27 she showed her pass at the entrance of the assembly hall. During the break she left the hall and on her way back was stopped by a man who grasped her by the arm and pushed away. First he didn't explain anything and then said: «You are in the way».
On June 3 a similar situation took place. A policeman blocked her way and said: «I have an instruction not to let you in».
Nadezda Sarsakova asks: «Doesn't it all happen because the paper I work in supports city ciuoncil's deputies against the head of city administration. She considers both situations to be wild violation Press Law.
Svetlana Soldatova, Murmansk Union of Journalists board member comments upon the happening:
«Formally in the situations described by N.Sarsakova one can see violation of the Russian Law of the Press in the item of accreditation. The journalists should be ensured good conditions for peforming their functions. An accredited journalist has the right to be pore sent at open sittings .
As the ones in Murmansk were open the actions of the people stopping the journalist from entering the hall can be considered as the violation of the Russian Law of Mass Media».
Edited and translated by: Tatiana Polkova