Almost two dozen journalists were beaten or detained during anti-government protests across Russia on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth presidential term.
Some 1,600 people in 27 cities were rounded up at “He’s Not Our Tsar” rallies on Saturday, including dozens who were sentenced to jail time and fined. Putin was officially sworn into office on Monday, extending his rule into 2024.
Of the 23 journalist who were harassed at the protests, at least 10 “were injured or encountered police aggression precisely because of their status,” the Russian Journalists and Media Workers Union wrote on its Telegram channel Monday.
Several incidents of police violence against members of the media were caught on camera, including against Ekho Moskvy radio station deputy editor Tatyana Felgenhauer and investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta photojournalist Mikhail Grebenshchikov.
The Media Workers Union said only two journalists have pressed charges for being beaten by police, and called on colleagues to step forward to “swamp police, the Investigative Committee and prosecutors with your complaints and statements.”
“Not resisting these police practices now risks even more stringent suppression methods in the very near future,” it warned.