RUSSIA: SEEMO reminds that attacks on journalists by authorities are detrimental for media freedom

RUSSIA, RUSSIA, 02/11/2017, 06:30

Vienna, 2 November 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep concern after learning about the raid of a media outlet and brutal physical retaliation against an editor-in-chief in Russia. 

On 1 November, unidentified special forces officers stormed the editorial offices of Novye Kolyosa, a newspaper based in Kaliningrad. The officers detained editor-in-chief Igor Rudnikov, who was brought from home to the office in handcuffs. Journalists and employees were not allowed to leave and were interrogated for five hours. Later in the evening an ambulance was called and Rudnikov was taken to the hospital unconscious, and allegedly having suffered a broken arm and a severe head injury.  

It was later reported that secret service officers went to the hospital the same evening and took Rudnikov out of the hospital for “investigative measures”. Currently, no charges have been filed against the editor-in-chief. Official media says he was detained after receiving a bribe for not publishing “false information” in the newspaper. Novye Kolyosa employees believe this was a retaliation for a published series of investigative articles in the daily, regarding many luxurious properties owned by the Kaliningrad chief of the local police Investigation Department, Viktor Ledenyov.

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