Vienna, 11 October 2016 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) was appalled to learn about the brutal attack on Russian journalist Grigory Pasko.
Pasko was beaten in the morning hours of 27 September by two unidentified men, in the city of Barnaul in the Siberian region Altai Krai.
According to Pasko, he had been followed and attacked by the men, who he says then promised to return. The journalist also added that in his opinion these were not common criminals, but rather individuals hired to beat and intimidate him because of his investigative work in journalism and his critical opinion.
Pasko, a former military officer, was arrested in 1997 by Russian police on charges of treason and espionage . He was found guilty in 2001 and was released on parole in 2003. A day before the attack, Pasko published an article from a newspaper, in which a local nationalist complained about Pasko being a “foreign spy”.
SEEMO members condemn this attack and call on authorities in Russia to conduct an immediate investigation, in order to discover who the perpetrators behind this attack are. Beatings and censorship of media workers in Russia are a definite and common indicator of low media freedoms and human rights.