Media conflicts, 5-15 January 2014

For Russian original, see Media Conflicts database

5, Sunday – Dmitry Vokhmintsev (detained)
When the Olympic Torch passed through Kirov (Volga District) the activist and “7×7” website journalist Dmitry Vokhmintsev was detained and taken to a police station. There a bailiff said that Dmitry had not performed the hours of community service imposed by the court several months earlier. In the records of his arrest it was also stated that he was being picked up on suspicion of involvement in the terrorist acts in Volgograd. The court sentenced him to seven days detention.

9, Thursday – Aksana Panova (Criminal conviction)
The Lenin district court in Yekaterinburg (Urals District) gave Aksana Panova, former head of the major Urals news agency “Ura.ru”, a two-year suspended sentence, fined her 400,000 roubles and banned her from practising journalism during that period. In 2012 Panova was charged with extorting large sums of money from local businessmen. The court found Panova guilty but reclassified the crime as a lesser offence under Article 179 (“Compulsion to complete a deal”). Popova said she had no intention to stop working as a journalist for the next 24 months.

10, Friday – the “Fourth Estate” internet newspaper (Criminal charges)
Vadim Rogozhin, chief editor of the Saratov internet newspaper (Volga District), is now officially a suspect in an investigation into charges of criminal defamation. As the website explains, Saratov Region deputy governor Denis Fadeyev considered an article published on 10 December 2012 to be defamatory. (Vadim Rogozhin was the victim of a brutal attack in March 2009, for which the perpetrators but not the instigator were charged and convicted.)

13, Monday – Marina Afanskina (Unlawful dismissal)
The chief editor of the “Ononskaya pravda” newspaper in the Zabaikal Region’s Kyrinsky district was sacked on the Day of the Press. Officially, she was dismissed for failing to carry out her duties; she believes the cause was the critical articles published about the district administration in the newspaper.

14, Tuesday – Alexander Pirogov (Criminal conviction)
The Guild of Analytical Journalism has issued an open letter, calling for a reduction in the sentence of former chief editor of the Voronezh Region newspaper “Molodoi kommunar”, Alexander Pirogov. On 25 December 2013 the Lenin district court in Voronezh (Central Disrtict) sentenced Pirogov to four years imprisonment for embezzlement and abuse of official powers (Articles 160 and 285). The one offence specified was the receipt of 100,000 roubles for publishing an article defaming a businessman. As the Guild commented, this was a much harsher sentence than those recently given to officials who accepted millions in bribes but received no more than suspended sentences.

14, Тuesday — Alexander Khodzinsky (Murder)
A court in Tulun (Irkutsk Region) has passed sentence on the murderer of journalist Alexander Khodzinsky. The court found that on 7 July 2012 Gennady Zhigarev, the former deputy head of the town administration, and subsequently a director of an enterprise in Tulun, struck Khodzinsky seven times with a knife, wounding him in the chest, the stomach and the leg. The accused was given a one year, ten month suspended sentence following a change in the charges from “Murder” (Article 105) to “Homicide committed in a state of temporary insanity” (Article 107).

15, Wednesday – Tatyana Tadyeva (Unlawful dismissal)
Former chief editor of the “Ulagannyn solundary” newspaper, Tatyana Tadyeva, contacted the Glasnost Defence Foundation and described the pressure exerted on the newspaper and, in particular, the censorship imposed by the local authorities of the Ulagannyn district (Altai Republic, Siberian District). She had subsequently been sacked, she said, on a fabricated pretext.

15, Wednesday – Oleg Sukhov (Detention)
A dozen people, protesting against the building of barracks for migrant workers, were arrested in the evening by police in the Novokosino district of Moscow. Among those detained was “Moscow Times” reporter Oleg Sukhov. He was soon released. A petition signed by over 10,000 residents was earlier organised in opposition to the proposed building.

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