|WAN-IFRA calls for the protection of journalists and an end to impunity in Russia
Paris, France and Darmstadt, Germany, 9 November 2010
For immediate release
World's Press Calls For Protection of Journalists in Russia
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum today called on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to ensure that widespread attacks on journalists are aggressively prosecuted following the attempted murder of newspaper reporter Oleg Kashin.
"We are alarmed at the culture of impunity that surrounds attacks on journalists, which stifles criticism and can lead to self-censorship," the global organisations said in a letter to the president, which pointed to 19 unsolved murders of journalists in Russia. "We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to carry out their professional duties without fear of violence."
Mr Kashin, a reporter for the business daily Kommersant, suffered a fractured jaw, broken legs and injuries to his fingers and skull after being beaten outside his Moscow apartment building on Saturday (6 November). Kommersant editor Mikhail Mikhailin said that the attack was retribution for articles written by Mr Kashin, who had recently covered anti-Kremlin
protests and extremist rallies.
WAN-IFRA welcomed President Medvedev's appointment of the Prosecutor General to oversee the case, and his remark that "the criminals must be found and punished", but said more needed to be done.
The full letter can be read at http://www.wan-press.org/pfreedom/articles.php?id=6239
Follow WAN-IFRA press freedom campaigns at http://www.wan-press.org/pfreedom/home.php
WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world's newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. The organisation was created by the merger of the World
Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry.
Learn more about WAN-IFRA at http://www.wan-ifra.org or through the WAN-IFRA
Magazine at http://www.wan-ifra.org/magazine
Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications and Public Affairs,
WAN-IFRA, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85
00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: