News / Europe

Russian Reporters Sign Open Letter Against Firing of Kommersant Journalists

A Muscovite reads the latest issue of Kommersant with most of its pages blank at a metro station in central Moscow.  (File Photo)
A Muscovite reads the latest issue of Kommersant with most of its pages blank at a metro station in central Moscow. (File Photo)

At least 50 journalists from a Russian publisher have signed an open letter complaining they are being prevented from publishing critical statements about Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after two of their colleagues were fired.

An editor and senior manager of Kommersant Publishing were fired on Tuesday in connection with what the owner, Alisher Usmanov, has described as a breach of ethics for its coverage of the parliamentary elections in the Kommersant Vlast weekly magazine. The article alleged fraud and included a picture of a ballot with a personal message to Mr. Putin containing expletives.

In an open letter posted on the internet Wednesday, reporters for the publisher argued that the firing is an "act of intimidation aimed at preventing any critical statements about Vladimir Putin."

Usmanov has defended his decision, adding that he has no intention of selling the publication despite an early buy-out offer from fellow tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, who launched a bid this week to challenge Mr. Putin for the presidency.

The December 4 parliamentary elections saw United Russia lose support with a reduced majority in the State Duma. Reports of widespread fraud led to anti-government demonstrations across the country.

Leaders of United Russia, which has dominated Russian politics for more than a decade, have denied cheating.

If Mr. Putin regains the presidency, the 59-year-old leader could serve two more six-year terms and remain in power until 2024. He was first elected president in 2000 and held that post until 2008, when he assumed the post of prime minister due to term limits.

Wednesday, a leading ally of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin resigned as speaker of the country's parliament. Boris Gryzlov was elected as speaker in 2003. He said he would renounce his mandate as a member of parliament, but will continue his post as chairman of United Russia.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid