Russian journalist beaten up as government resorts to disinformation

first_img News May 26, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Russian journalist beaten up as government resorts to disinformation Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned a latest attack on press freedom in Uzbekistan after Russian cameraman Vladislav Chekoyan of Russian TVTs was beaten up by Uzbek border guards on the border with Kyrgyzstan on 21 May.Chekoyan was filming a demonstration by around 1,000 people, on a bridge in Kara-Suu over the River Charkhansai separating the two countries, demanding the release of insurgents arrested there by Uzbek forces on 18 and 19 May. Guards also seized his camera and his mobile phone”This latest assault on press freedom shows that the use of violence against journalists is common practice for the Uzbek authorities, as is the use of disinformation to control the media,” the organisation said.”We therefore call on President Islam Karimov to do his utmost to guarantee freedom of information in Uzbekistan and to immediately stop this policy of lying, when the country is going through a crucial step in its political and social development.” For five days after mass shootings in Andijan on 13 May, the town was cut off from the outside world. Three journalists who tried to get to Andijan in the days after 13 May were sent back. Journalist Dmitri Yasminov and cameraman Viktor Muzalevsky, of Russian REN-TV, were held for two hours at a checkpoint a few kilometres from Andijan on 14 May. Alexei Ivliev, of Russian NTV, who was working in the Andijan area, was forced to return to the capital Tashkent under police escort on 14 May.A press trip, which was entirely controlled by the authorities, allowed some 30 journalists and foreign diplomats to visit the town for a few hours on 18 May. None of them was allowed to talk to residents or to visit School No 15. which was used as a morgue after the 13 May shootings that reportedly left up to 1,000 civilians dead.On the same day, a team led by journalist Sviatoslav Tsegolko of Kanal 5 television was arrested on arrival at Tashkent airport. Customs held him for six hours on the grounds that he had no official accreditation and seized their equipment. The Kanal 5 crew was finally able to go to Andijan after an intervention by the Ukrainian embassy.Elsewhere, the authorities stepped up a campaign of disinformation, particularly since the European Union, the United States and the UN called for an independent international inquiry into the bloody events of 13 May.First deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan, Rustam Azimov, on 21 May sent instructions to the entire Uzbek media on how to cover the events in Andijan.On the same day, President Islam Karimov’s press service told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that “several media, including dubious websites, were putting out subversive information that the situation was not stable in Andijan, while this absolutely does not correspond to the facts.”Uzbek media also hammered home the message on 22 May that news being put out by international media should not be believed and lambasted the idea of an international investigation. “It’s like someone coming to your home and telling you that he wants to bring up your children,” an old man introduced as an Andijan resident said on state-run television news.A majority of the most popular Uzbek and Russian independent websites are still being blocked by the state provider:,,, Russian sites, of the daily Nézavissimaya gazeta (, of NTV ( and Radio Svoboda ( are also inaccessible in the country. Uzbek Internet-users can only get as far as the home page of, and News RSF_en Follow the news on Uzbekistan to go further Russian cameraman Vladislav Chekoyan, of Russian TVTs, was beaten up by Uzbek border guards on 21 May while filming a demonstration in Kara-Suu (a town on the Kyrgyzstan border) in yet another press freedom violation in Uzbekistan following the mass shootings in Andijan in the east on 13 May which reportedly left up to 1,000 civilians dead. News May 11, 2021 Find out more President Islam Karimov contests the fact that the army fired into the crowd without warning on 13 May leaving between 500 and 1,000 people dead in Andijan and the east of the country. According to the head of state, 169 insurgents died in clashes with army and security forces. The UN confirmed on 20 May that the Uzbek president had rejected the idea of an independent investigation into the 13 May violence. Newscenter_img Receive email alerts More than six years in prison for Uzbek blogger who covered corruption Uzbek blogger facing possible 10-year jail term UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council October 15, 2020 Find out more Organisation UzbekistanEurope – Central Asia February 11, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information last_img

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