Today, on the International Day to End impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the United States strongly condemns threats, harassment, and violence targeting journalists and media workers in Russia and around the world. We stand in solidarity with courageous journalists – both Russian and foreign – who continue their work to ensure the free flow of information despite the considerable risk.
Article 29 of Russia’s Constitution guarantees “freedom of ideas and speech” in name. Yet, at least 19 journalists are reportedly held in detention in Russia, including RFE/RL’s Alsu Kurmasheva and the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich.
The unacceptable harassment and pattern of violence against independent media and investigative journalists in Russia unfortunately spans many years. Such crimes against journalists have met little resistance from the authorities, including the murders of Paul Klebnikov and Anna Politkovskaya, and the recent assault on Elena Milashina.
We call on the Russian government to bring an end to the culture of impunity for violence against journalists, and to live up to its commitments to respect fundamental freedoms of expression in accordance with international law and the vows it made to its people in its constitution.