Vienna, 25 August 2017 – After learning that three journalists were arrested in Kosovo on 23 August the Vienna based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is asking Kosovo authorities for more details and clear information about this case.
The journalists, who were characterized as “of Russian nationality” by local media outlets, were in actuality Yuri (Juri) Alekseev from Latvia and former Tallinna TV presenter Rodion Denissov with his wife Vera from Estonia. They were detained on 23 August around 11:30 and released at 17:00, with no charges being brought against them.
The group was reported to have been compiling a report about Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo. The details of the alleged offences for which they were arrested remain unclear. According to some Kosovo-media, the group was arrested in connection with “propaganda against Kosovo”. According to some other sources the journalists are “known as pro-Russian and pro-Serbian, writing against Kosovo” and “their goal was to publish falsified data on Kosovo and Kosovo cultural heritage after leaving Kosovo”. All three journalist entered Kosovo on 17 August.
Only a week earlier Russian journalist Peter Davidov, from the web portal Orthodoxy.Ru could not get into the territory of Kosovo
SEEMO expressed concern about the arresting and steps against freedom of movement. Intimidation and censorship through arrests is not acceptable, as also to prevent someone or even ban a person from entering a country.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.