In October this year there were two cases of Russian journalist who were arrested as they were threatening the national security of EU countries.
Bulgaria has expelled Russian journalist Alexander Gatsak (Александр Гацак), a correspondent for the Russian-government’s Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Российская газета) (https://rg.ru/), for what authorities claim to be activities threatening national security including suspicion of espionage. The State Agency for National Security (DANS) announced on 1 November 2023 that Gatsak’s residency rights had been revoked in September.
Gatsak had been hiding in the Russian embassy in Sofia “for security reasons” for over a month, according to reports. He was summoned to receive the expulsion order but did not appear and sought refuge in the embassy. DANS, under the guise of a journalist, accused Gatsak of carrying out intelligence activities that posed a threat to national security.
On 20 September 2023, the chairman of DANS issued an order to revoke Gatsak’s residence status, his accreditation as a journalist, and to expel him from Bulgaria with a ban on entering the EU. Gatsak left Bulgaria on Wednesday 25 October 2023, and the Russian Foreign Ministry warned of retaliatory measures.
In one independent case Cyprus authorities arrested for “security reasons ” on 6 October 2023 Russian journalist Alexander Gennadievich Gasyuk (Александр Геннадьевич Гасюк), born in July 1981, who works also for of Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The journalist was deported.
South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.
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