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NewsObservers20 May 2019, 22:00

On March 20, representatives of the NTV TV channel organized a frame-up of the member of the Golos Movement’s council Roman Udot at the Sheremetyevo Airport. For several years now, NTV employees have been harassing Roman, unlawfully tracking his movements, collecting and disseminating information about his private life and his loved ones. They do this, misrepresenting the facts and disgracing his honor.

On the evening of March 20, the NTV crew awaited Roman Udot at the airport’s Aeroexpress terminal. It should be noted that no information about Roman’s plans and his probable movements has been published anywhere. The questions that were posed to him as well as their format attest to the biased character of the story the news crew was preparing. This completely contradicts Principle 2 of the Media Ethical Standard-2015 of the Public Collegium for Complaints Against the Press that prohibits the journalists from taking part in the infowars and manipulating the information and minds of the media audiences. 

Once again, with a goal of throwing a person off balance and filming an “edgy” news report, the NTV crew began pressuring Roman and behaving in ways that are incompatible with the status of journalists and violate the standards of journalistic ethics. 

Given the circumstances, Roman refused to give an interview, especially since on the previous day, three NTV crews were present at the Golos Movement’s press conference and despite the previous untruthful films about Golos’s work they were civilly given the answers to all of their questions. Nonetheless, the NTV correspondents continued to aggressively harass Roman. Principle 5 of the Media Ethical Standard states that the journalist should not chase the objects of their professional interest without good reason (i.e. without the signs of a prominent or dominant public interest). 

When he entered a store and took out a bank card to pay for the purchases, Roman once again stated that he protests the filming, which nonetheless continued using the mobile phone and the journalist stated that this is a home video. Roman once again pointed out that he opposes the filming and the forced communication and asked the store security to call the police. Without any other way of stopping the filming and handing these people, who are informed about his personal life and movements, over to the law enforcement agencies, Roman took the phone and went towards the police station in order to file a complaint and hand the phone over as the instrument of crime. 

At the police station, Roman handed the phone over to the policemen, filed a complaint about unlawful harassment and violation of privacy. The NTV crew, trying to shift the blame to Roman Udot, filed a countercomplaint about the theft of the very phone that Roman handed over to police.  

The Golos Movement demands that frame-ups and provocations against the movement’s activists, organized through the joint efforts of the tabloid journalists and security services, are suspended. 

Golos Movement also demands that the actions of the NTV employees are assessed, and the provocateurs are held accountable. We detect in their actions the signs of the crimes envisioned by the Criminal Code, in particular:

  • article 137 of the Criminal Code – unlawful collection and distribution of information about the person’s private life. 
  • article 282 of the Criminal Code – actions aimed at the incitement of hatred or antagonism as well as at dishonoring a person or a group of people on the basis of membership in some social group, performed with the use of mass media, taking into account the fact that subitem “e” part 1 article 63 of the Criminal Code specifies as aggravating circumstance “the commission of crime inspired by the political, ideological hatred or antagonism or by the hatred or antagonism towards some social group.” 
  • Moreover, item 1 article 1 of the law “On counteracting extremism” lists as examples of extremism the incitement of social, racial, national or religious discord; violation of rights, freedoms and lawful interests of a person and a citizen depending on their communal affiliation. 

It should be noted that the Public Collegium for Complaints Against the Press has regularly upheld the claims against NTV’s propaganda materials, including propaganda with elements of the language of hatred. 


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