Armed with baseball bats, a group of unidentified masked men attacked foreign and Russian journalists and activists in the North Caucasus, at the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia, on March 9.
The Russian Union of Journalists was quick to condemn the attack. The International and European Federations of journalists (IFJ/EFJ) followed suit, calling on the Russian authorities to investigate the case and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Six journalists were targeted by the attack: Oeystein Windstad (Norway), Maria Persson Löfgren (Sweden), Egor Skovoroda (Russia), Aleksandra Elagina (Russia), Mikhail Solunin (Russia) and Anton Prusakov (Russia).
“We must do our best to investigate this ugly and violent attack against our colleagues. The authors must be brought to the court,” said the president of the Russian Journalists Union, Vsevolod Bogdanov.
The president of the International Federation of Journalists, Jim Boumelha, said: “Those who attacked our colleagues yesterday should be held accountable for their acts. We call on the Russian government to take every necessary step to ensure journalists can report freely on the ground”.
“We cannot accept these violent attacks against journalists and human rights defenders. I call on Russian authorities to provide efficient protection to journalists reporting in Chechnya and Ingushetia,” said the president of the European Federation of Journalists, Mogens Blicher Bjerregård.