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Journalistic Heads Addressed the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with Petition: Dear Sir, Don't Beat Us!

Journalistic Heads Addressed the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with Petition: Dear Sir, Don't Beat Us!
23.01.2010

The journalistic heads addressed with open letter to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs R.Nurgaliev with request to protect the rights of journalists from encroachments of employees of so-called "law enforcement bodies". Detention of the press photographer of the state news agency RIA Novosty Andrey Stenin served as its cause, he, following the instructions of edition, shot unapproved protest action. To begin with - the document text and then our editorial comments.


"Dear Rashid Gumarovich!

The journalistic community addresses you with the request to investigate and take measures upon egregious example of infringement by police officers of the rights and freedom of citizens of the Russian Federation guaranteed by the Constitution and the Russian legislation.

We are talking about detention on December, 12th, 2009 of the press photographer of the state news agency RIA Novosty Andrey Stenin who following the instructions of edition shot unapproved protest action. At breaking up of the picket he was detained and delivered to in OVD "Kitay-Gorod". Despite of showing the journalistic certificate, availability of professional photo-equipment and corresponding explanations fixed in the detention report, police officers brought a matter into court in relation to him as the participant of the protest action having ignored his testimonies.

Numerous facts of Stenin's case testifies that detention report was drawn up with infringement of the remedial legislation and subsequently "was worked out" in police station "Kitay-Gorod", evidences of witnesses-police officers in particular were forged.

We - as representatives of journalistic community - are very much disturbed by this precedent which can create a basis for prosecution of journalists during carrying out of professional duty all over the country. Incident occurred to Stenin puts us into situation when we are compelled to send our correspondents to fulfill editorial tasks placing them under the threat of their prosecution from the part of law enforcement bodies. Not only the journalist whose rights are protected by the law on mass-media but an citizen of Russia can become a victim of arbitrariness based on put-up job and falsification of evidences irrespective of his trade and social status.

We understand all complexity and scale of a problem on reforming of system of law-enforcement bodies put before you by the president of the country. We ask you to carry out official check in relation to police officers on the basis of whose actions the journalist was illegally involved in administrative responsibility and to take measures which will protect society as a whole and journalists in particular from unpunished infringements of the rights and freedom from the part of law enforcement bodies, they will become a basis of reform carried out by you".

At present the letter was signed by:

irill Klejmenov - 1st channel.
Tatyana Mitkova - NTV.
argarite Simonyan - "Russia Today".
rianna Maksimivskaya - REN TV.
lexey Venediktov - "Echo of Moscow".
lexander Gerasimov - radio "City-FM".
ndrey Bistritsky - "Voice of Russia".
Svetlana Mironyuk - RIA News.
leg Ananjev - "Prime-SS".
Vataly Abramov - "Izvestiya".
lena Ovcharenko - "Izvestiya".
Dmitry Muratov - "Novaya Gazeta".
Vladimir Gurevich - "News Time".
nstantin Remchukov - "Independent Newspaper".
Valery Jakov - "Novie Izvestiya".
Raid Dzhaber - newspaper "nba Mosku".
im Vall - "Moscow News".
lena Zelinskaya - "Mediasouz".
ichael Fishman - magazine "Russia Newsweek".
ichael Mikhaylin - "Gazeta Ru".
lexey Sharavsky - business newspaper "Vzglyad".
lexander Pisarev - INFOX.ru.
Boris Sorkin - IA Regnum.

 


From editorial board: Editorial staff of FORUM.msk will not sign this shit of paper...

 

In our country authorities and first of all so-called "law enforcement bodies" split on the chapter II of the Constitution where human rights in the state with sonorous name the Russian Federation are described in details. This is a crime, at that the crime before the constitutional system. And now we, citizens, against whom this crime is being committed with enviable regularity will write petitions to the head of one of the state structures who commits it most often?

Whether you went crazy, misters "engineers of human souls"?

 

Well, let's write Nurgaliev the letter in which we will ask not to kill the journalists in sobering-up stations any more, as it was recently done with our colleague Popov in Tomsk? At that let's write - a pier, you can kill other citizens, it's your business but, please, don't touch the journalists. Especially if they are from "the state mass-media".

 

If you really lost "zest for word" to such a degree? Well, ok, the majority of those who signed are not known to me as journalists - these are journalistic officials, who have in their heads "petty organ", basically, same, as their high-ranking addressee has. Though I'd advise Lesha Venediktov and Borya Sorkin remove their signatures from this list.

 

After all read your own letter - you write that "numerous facts of Stenin's case testifies that detention report was drawn up with infringement of the remedial legislation and subsequently "was worked out" in police station "Kitay-Gorod", evidences of witnesses-police officers in particular were forged". That is it is a question of crime, at that about usual crime which is being committed to thousand arrested persons with enviable regularity, the same way they are regularly covered by militia and other heads.

 

Now you write to the main militiaman the petition with the request to "investigate"?

Instead of demanding at the very least from the State Office of Public Prosecutor to investigate and punish all chain - from the sergeant up to "dear Rashid Gumarovich"? And let the court such as it is defines measure of fault of everyone and degree of responsibility. Only this way and in no other way!

Article 47 of Law about mass-media, paragraph 7 allows the journalist "to visit specially protected places of natural disaster, catastrophes and accidents, mass riots and mass congestions of citizens and also areas where state of emergency is declared; to be present at meetings and demonstrations". That else is necessary? The law is abused and it is possible only to demand the punishment of the guilty.

One shouldn't write letters to Dmitry Anatolevich with the request to oust someone from high ranks because resignation in modern Russia became the form of withdrawal of the high-ranking official from real responsibility. No, let "dear Rashid Gumarovich" - personally I don't know reasons to respect him - continues to fulfill his duties - up to coming of the moment of legal liability. If he will be clean before law - then he will be "dear" without inverted commas. But there are doubts...

The fact that journalists are beaten, imprisoned and killed - well, it's such country. Extreme. We - don't have claims. Unless our grandfathers wrote letters to "colleague Goebbels" with the request to protect front correspondents from actions of Wehrmacht? It's such work. In the Law on mass-media the work of the journalist is defined as the form of public service - here you are - conditions depend on the society.

To serve and not to be a servant. If it's really not clear?

natoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FROM.msk



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