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John Sullivan focused on the cases with journalists Svetlana Prokopyeva and Aslan Dukayev
The US Ambassador to Russia condemned what he called the Russian government’s failure to act in protecting journalists who receive threats from Russian officials or face criminal charges believed to be fabricated by their supporters.
During an online briefing on Wednesday, Ambassador John Sullivan strongly condemned the accusations of extremism leveled against Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty author Svetlana Prokopyeva and threats from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov against journalist Aslan Dukayev for an article in which he criticized the policies of the Chechen authorities..
He also condemned Kadyrov’s threats to the Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina, the author of critical materials on the human rights situation in Chechnya..
“Both I and our team at the embassy are closely following these matters.. Freedom of the press is a pillar of any democracy, ”said Sullivan, a former deputy secretary of state who took office in Moscow in January..
“Unfortunately, press freedom in Russia is under pressure today,” he added..
Sullivan pointed to a “disturbing trend” in the Russian media environment, calling the accusations against Prokopyeva “egregious” and stating that she “deserves the respect that a press worker in difficult circumstances deserves.”.
“We raised these issues during our contacts with the Russian government, but unfortunately the Russian federal authorities are not taking any action to resolve them,” Sullivan said..
“Therefore, we need to continue this work, and it will be so,” he added..
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