Media Freedom in Russia

Ian Kelly
U.S. Representative to the OSCE 
Statement to the Permanent Council
Vienna, Austria
November 11, 2010

We share President Medvedev, the EU, and civil society’s concerns both within Russia and across the globe that condemn the heinous attacks this week on Russian journalists Oleg Kashin and Anatoly Adamchuk and upon Environmental activist Konstantin Fetisov. We of course condemn the attack against them and look forward to their speedy recovery.

The United States welcomes the forceful and timely reaction of Russian President Medvedev to these new examples of shocking violence against journalists in the Russian Federation. We urge the Russian government to follow through on this pledge to bring the perpetrators to justice in this case and in all unsolved cases of violence against journalists and human rights defenders.

Likewise, we welcome assurances made in September from the Prosecutor General’s Investigative Committee that a number of cases involving murdered journalists will be reopened and investigated further. This will certainly be taken as a step in the right direction.

As has been well documented, these are not isolated cases; and as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media said in her statement on November 9, the latest attacks are proof that impunity only leads to further violence.

The United States joins with Ms. Mijatovic in noting that one of the most important OSCE media freedom commitments is ensuring the safety of journalists.

We urge Russian authorities to carry out complete, thorough, and professional investigations and to bring those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice with all deliberate speed.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.