Russian Forces Harassing Journalists in Georgia

Reader “Simona” has translated the following two reports from the Russian media regarding the harrassment of journalists attempting to report on the Russian invasion of Georgia.

From Gazeta.ru: Russian soldiers detained Polish  news crew near Gori

A patrol of the Russian and Ingushetian military detained members of a Polish public television crew with their Georgian guide near Karaleti village, which lies between the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali and the Georgian city of Gori, said on Monday the Polish Television. All the crew’s equipment was confiscated, including cameras and mobile phones. The detainees were driven off to an undisclosed destination, said the report. The website of the Polish television also reports that the local authorities are considering the journalists as “prisoners of war”.

From Grani.ru:  Russian soldiers detained Georgian journalists

Russian soldiers in the village of Tsaishi detained Giga Kilasonia, a cameraman of the Obshchestvenny Veshchatel television, and Rustavi-2 television reporter Emma Gogokia, who were trying to film illegal Russian military checkpoints in Tsaishi, gazeta.ru reports, citing its Tbilisi correspondent. According to the report “While the journalists were filming, three armoured personnel carriers arrived, and the Russian soldiers ordered them to stop filming. They took away the keys of the cameraman’s car, and tried to force the journalists into one of the armoured personnel carriers. When the journalists refused, the soldiers roughed them up. Forty minutes later, representatives of the UN arrived and the journalists were released after their intervention.”

Robert Amsterdam has video on the confrontation.

One response to “Russian Forces Harassing Journalists in Georgia

  1. Russians are a little slow. It takes a bit longer for them to take in many things, amongst them are the basic principles and legal meaning of the words like: Freedom, Democracy, Independence, Free Press, etc.

    In the minds of the vast majority of the Russian population, and the soldiers are not exactly the brains of Russia, ‘free’ means ‘grab & run’, or use a gun, a knife to take what you feel like.

    They might, eventually learn to pay more respect to the above principles of democratic society, but, at present, Russia is not a democratic country, so, this attitude is hardly surprising.

    I would find it astonishing, if they would just let the Poles or any other reporters team to film what they want, wherever they like. The military cleaning is going on, i.e. ‘zachistka’ and, most probably, they are putting some Ossetians IDs on the bodies of the dead Georgian civilians, to ‘massage the figures’ and make their cause for invasion stronger. This is a serious, operation, not very pleasant, who needs the journalists under their feet? Put yourself in their boots, what would you do, ask the reporters in?

    They are acting under orders from Kremlin to keep it quiet and clean up the mess, without any extra publicity, and, what do you want? Get out!

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