Tags: bbc | news | team | attacked | russian

BBC News Team Attacked While Covering Russian Soldier's Death

By    |   Friday, 19 Sep 2014 09:01 AM

A BBC News team claimed it came under attack and was beaten on Tuesday in the town of Astrakhan in southern Russia while trying to report on the death of a Russian soldier near the Ukrainian border.

After the beating they were questioned by police for four hours, and they later found that during that time their recording equipment had been electronically erased, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The BBC has lodged a formal protest with the Russian authorities after a news team from the BBC's Moscow bureau was attacked in the south of the country," the BBC News said in a statement on Thursday. "The cameraman was beaten up and the camera smashed during the attack. The team was investigating reports of Russian personnel being killed near the border with Ukraine. Russian servicemen, according to the official line, are not involved in Ukraine, unless they go on holiday or in their spare time."

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Astrakhan police spokesman Pyotr Rusanov told the Moscow Times that his officers arrived shortly after the BBC News unit was attacked and searched for those involved.

"At the moment, the attackers have not been detained, but an investigation is being carried out and a criminal case was opened," Rusanov told the Moscow Times.

BBC News officials said they believe the attack was not random but a deliberate act to prevent them from covering the story, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The attack on our staff and the destruction of their equipment and recordings, were clearly part of a coordinated attempt to stop accredited news journalists reporting a legitimate news story," the BBC said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that while attacks on foreign journalists in Russia are unusual, the roughing up of local Russian journalists is routine. The Journal reported that Lev Shlosberg, a local lawmaker and journalist from Pskov, was badly beaten last month after publishing a story about the funerals of paratroopers who were apparently killed in Ukraine.

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A BBC News team claimed it came under attack and was beaten on Tuesday in the town of Astrakhan in southern Russia while trying to report on the death of a Russian soldier near the Ukrainian border.
bbc, news, team, attacked, russian
353
2014-01-19
Friday, 19 Sep 2014 09:01 AM
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