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Russian Journalist Assaulted, Threatened In Sochi

Anastasia Akopyan
Anastasia Akopyan
Anastasia Akopyan, a young journalist in the Russian city of Sochi, was attacked and struck in the face by unknown assailants late on April 22.

An interview that Akopyan did with Russia's former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, who is an opposition candidate in the city's April 26 mayoral election, was featured in a paid advertisement that the candidate aired on local television.

According to the Nemtsov campaign, Akopyan was approached outside her home by two men at approximately 11 p.m. The men asked if she was the one who had appeared in the Nemtsov campaign clip. She spoke with them briefly and tried to leave, at which point she was restrained by the men, who told her that "working with Nemtsov is dangerous to one's health."

"You are a smart girl," they reportedly said. "You know who is going to win."

When Akopyan began to loudly protest being restrained, one of the men struck Akopyan in the face with his fist while the other said: "That's so you understand that we are not kidding. You have been warned."

(by Robert Coalson)

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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