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 brutally beaten in Moscow
Thirty years old Oleg Kashin, correspondent of Russian daily Kommersant , was severely beaten on the night of Nov. 6 by two unknown persons. Journalist with fractures of the jaw, a broken fingers and a broken leg was taken to hospital where he several operations. Condition Oleg Kashin is still grave. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry to take over the investigation into a special control.
Oleg Kashin.Photo from "Vesti.Ru." .
The portal Openspace.ru published an appeal to the president in connection with the beating of Kashin. It says that only the past period of 2010 in Russia eight journalists were killed , more than 40 survived the attack. The authors of the messages reminded Medvedev that many crimes committed against media people remain unsolved for many years, and stressed that "government is directly responsible for the safety of media in the country."
Russian Union of Journalists issued a statement in connection with the attack on journalist Kommersant Oleg Kashin
“The brutal attack on Oleg Kashin and the nature of inflicted injury leave no doubt: he was beaten for what he did - that he "did not go, not written, not spoken."
His name - one of a number of our colleagues who were killed, beaten, maimed - because they "wrote and spoke."
For what they honestly performed their professional duties. Only for it.
And we again urge the authorities to the attackers and their customers will not go unpunished. And the government - the Interior Minister, the Attorney General, the President himself again and again take another investigation "under his personal control." And nothing happens.
Means that their "personal control" and worth.
But with impunity, not only those who beat and who pays for it. With impunity and those who sow the seeds of hatred in the society for honest journalism, who consistently trains its citizens to ensure that the response to the word may be a bullet, knife, brass knuckles.
And too often this "job" is to cost money - say, for Seliger, The website is completely official and supported "from above". In particular, wild threats against the correspondent of Kommersant Kashin recently posted on the website of the Young Guard of United Russia party , but we have not heard from the leaders of this party statements of their political responsibility for what makes them young shoots, and its relation to do so.
Recall that, while law enforcement agencies "are looking for" maimed journalist Beketov, Mayor of Khimki, on the territory of which deployed unpunished hunt for journalists and civic activists, made instituted against Beketov criminal case - for "slander" him, the mayor. The case examines the court, the mayor remains in his post, Beketov three years confined to his hospital bed, politically motivated attacks in Khimki continuing.
And no one has ever said to us: why you never, and no one was punished for illegal detention of journalists covering public events, with the phony records on them, drawn up by police why, finally, just twenty years does not work article of the Criminal Code, punished for "impeding the lawful professional activities of journalists"? But innumerable initiatives that restrict their rights.
In December, Moscow will host a representative international conference "Protecting the future of journalism in Eastern Europe”, pursued by the International Federation of Journalists, the OSCE, Council of Europe and the Russian Union of Journalists. On it we will again raise the question of impunity for attacks on journalists. The fact that all investigations of these attacks invariably end in failure. That hope for all the promises of power anymore.
And we offer to colleagues who are interested in the principles of professional solidarity, to an indefinite share: 5 of each month, the day of the attack on Oleg Kashin placed on the front page of its edition white box with the caption:
HERE COULD BE NAME convicted murderer of our colleagues and those who order such crimes.
And do it as long as we really can not call them names.
We, the Barents Press Russia members, support this appeal and add our voice to those who demand an honest investigation and punishment of perpetrators of attacks and murders of our comrades.