Journalist in Russia Goes into Hiding After Receiving Threats

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International Press Institute, IPI LogoSeptember 29, 2009

International Press Institute (IPI) advocacy mission arrived in Russia to discuss the state of media freedom in the country, reports emerged that Russian freelance journalist and human rights activist Alexandr Podrabinek has gone into hiding after angering members of a nationalist pro-Kremlin youth movement with an article he wrote criticising Russia’s Soviet past.

“I have received information from reliable sources that at a senior level the decision has been taken to settle scores with me by any means,” he wrote in a blog post on Monday, Reuters reported.

The article on www.ej.ru drew attention to the prison camps and crimes under Stalin, and accused the current Russian authorities of trying to brush over the past in an effort to bolster patriotism.

Podrabinek reportedly wrote that Russia’s Soviet past was “bloody, false and shameful.”

The article provoked the ire of a nationalist youth movement called Nashi (Ours), whose spokesperson has been quoted as saying: “We believe that people who insult veterans should not have the right to live here.”

News reports said the journalist felt compelled to go into hiding after his home address and telephone number were posted on several websites linked to pro-Kremlin groups. READ MORE

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