To correspondents of TV channel Russia Today Alexander Rubinstein and Evan Angela criminal cases in the United States. In fact, it was their fault that they fulfilled their professional duties: covered the protests against Donald trump. Now he faces ten years in prison. It is noteworthy also that who it is and why you came to their defense.
During the inauguration of Donald trump in Washington, there were mass protests – the newspaper VIEW wrote extensively about their training and conduct. When the police detain a person violating public order during rallies, they often do not make the difference between someone who hits the Windows, and those who are shooting them on camera – the final separation of journalists from the protesters has been going in phases.
“The statements of the OSCE, CPJ and fit perfectly in another attack on trump, which the liberal media and European officials have declared war”
Some activities journalists wear special vests or helmets to be seen from afar, but in this case they may become the target of aggression by protesters. For example, RT correspondent Anna Baranova was attacked in the air when covered the protests in Paris.
During the Washington protests were detained around 100 people, including correspondents of RT Alexander Rubinstein and Evan Engel of the American media company Vocativ. Oddly enough, they are not released from the site after a short trial, as it usually happens in Russia and Europe. Against journalists have been prosecuted along with those who broke Windows and attacked police officers. Now for the performance of their professional duties, they face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 25 thousand dollars.
Of course, the RT issued in connection with this official statement, which says:
“The arrest and subsequent charges against our reporter Alexander Rubinstein, just doing its job in covering the protests in Washington on inauguration day, Donald trump is an absolute outrage. Such actions represent a flagrant violation of journalistic freedom, and especially surprising that it occurred in a country that is positioning itself as a champion of the free press. RT uses the full force of his team of lawyers to support our journalism, and we are confident that a careful analysis which would hold the office of US attorney General, confirmed that Alexander, who walks around with a press card, was arrested unlawful.”
In the US and the EU RT regularly accused in the fact that the channel is almost analogous to nuclear weapons in the world of propaganda, however, Rubinstein and Angela stood up and the OSCE, and the Committee to protect journalists.
“The media play a crucial role in democratic countries, ensuring transparency and accountability in the execution of state power, – reads the statement of the OSCE representative on freedom of the media Dunja Mijatovic. – The function of public supervision is particularly important during elections, changes of government, including during the inauguration. Until it is proved that journalists took direct and active part in hostilities, their activities during public demonstrations should remain untouched.” Mijatović also noted that the right of journalists to cover the mass protests guaranteed by the First amendment to the U.S. Constitution and article 19 of the International Covenant on civil and political rights, which the US ratified.
On the official website of the Committee to protect journalists (CPJ), which is headquartered in new York, said: “the Authorities in Washington should withdraw the charges of participating in riots against at least three journalists detained while covering protests in the day of the inauguration of President Donald trump”. We are talking about Rubinstein, Angela and Aaron Cantu, collaborating with multiple media.
“These charges are clearly inappropriate and we are concerned that they may become an alarming signal for journalists, which in the future will be to cover the protests,” says one of the coordinators of the Committee’s Carlos Lauria. “We urge the authorities in Washington to immediately withdraw these allegations”, – quotes the translation of the TASS statement.
However, one passage from the full text of the statement of the OSCE representative Mijatovic suggests that its concerns are caused not only by the fact of detention of the employee and his RT colleagues, but also the persona of the new President. As noted, “the emissary of the OSCE is also concerned that the detention and the charges against both journalists occurred at a time when the media began to be under great pressure from the new administration.” However, Mijatovic expects that this trend will not continue and the US “will continue to maintain a long-standing reputation of being a good advocate of freedom of expression and the media.”
Note that the new administration is only the fifth day. Yes, Donald trump has already made some big steps like coming out of the TRANS-Pacific partnership, rejection of Obamacare and the return of the bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval office.
But no “pressure” to feel the media could not – simply would not have time. Probably Mijatovic has in mind a press conference trump on January 11, when President-elect have not yet assumed office. “Pressure” is expressed in the refusal to answer questions from CNN. “You are a terrible organization and publish fake”, – said trump.
Other examples of “pressure” on members of the media from the new administration were recorded. On the contrary, there is a certain continuity: accredited at the White house, journalists have already managed to catch the new speaker of the White house Sean Spicer on lies about the number present at the inauguration. Administration yet repel the attacks extremely sluggish – a senior adviser to trump, Kellyann Conway said Saturday that the White house “will need to reconsider” relations with the press, and spicey at the same unsuccessful for yourself first briefing promised that will call on distributors of fakes to the answer.
Thus, the statements of the OSCE, CPJ and fit perfectly in another attack on trump, which the liberal media and European officials have declared war long before his election – and to stop it do not intend.
Of course, for journalists who face long-term imprisonment and heavy fines, are not so fundamental, why they protect, most Importantly, that the defense was successful and they were removed of course unfair charges.
But there is some doubt that an international organization would have paid attention to the detention of the journalist of RT, if this had happened during the protests against the election of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps, on the contrary, there would be statements in the style: “Kremlin propaganda has organized rallies against the legitimately elected lady President.”
Protection of the rights of journalists around the world, of course, important and necessary. But to use the issue of the detained correspondents in a personal political vendetta is unacceptable.