Decree banning disclosure of military casualties condemned

The Russian presidential decree "extending a ban on coverage of military casualty figures to peacetime as well as in wartime" has been condemned by the CPJ.

Source: B92
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"Such coverage, deemed to be disclosure of state secrets, is punishable by prison terms up to 20 years, according to local press reports," the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in a statement.

"Today's decree is clearly aimed at silencing those journalists who have defied the Russian propaganda machine to investigate the possible deaths of Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian conflict, in which Russia denies participation," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova was quoted as saying, and added:

"We call on President Vladimir Putin to stop erecting smokescreens and allow the media to do its job-which is to tell the people of Russia, Ukraine, and the world what is actually happening in the region."

The statement added that according to CPJ's research, "journalists who have tried to investigate reports of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine have been threatened and attacked," while "critics say that the decree, which bans publishing military casualties during undefined 'special operations' in peacetime, could be interpreted as any military action."

Disclosing such figures during wartime was already banned under Russian law, the statement noted.

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World Friday, May 15, 2015 10:42 Comments: 1
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