Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Why journalism matters, telling Beslan's story

From the Media Guardian:

Russian authorities have detained the Moscow bureau chief of the satellite TV channel al-Arabiya on his way to Moscow from Beslan, where he was covering the hostage crisis. ...

The editor of Russia's leading daily, Izvestiya, was yesterday forced to resign over the paper's coverage of the hostage crisis, in which more than 300 people died. ...

Radio Liberty reporter Andrei Babitsky was held at a Moscow airport, accused of possessing explosives and later charged with "hooliganism" after a search found nothing. He was sentenced to five days in jail.

And yesterday it emerged that Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter for Novaya Gazeta who has received death threats for her articles on Chechnya and has denounced the Russian forces for atrocities, was mysteriously taken ill on her way to Beslan.

After drinking tea supplied by the plane's stewardess, she fainted and doctors said she had been poisoned.

Press freedom organization Reporters without Borders today reported that two employees of the Georgian TV station Rustavi 2, Nana Lezhava and cameraman Levan Tetvadze, have been held by the Beslan police since September 4.

According to RWB, the local authorities claimed Lezhava and Tetvadze did not have the required visas and accreditation.

Hundreds of people died, most of them children. We need to know what happened.

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