Investigative journalist Natalia Morar of the New Times magazine, who had published muckraking articles about the falsification of election results and graft by high ranking government officials, has been expelled from the Russian Federation to Moldova in response to her work, says her editor. Aidan White of International Federation of Journalists said “This action is a shocking violation of press freedom and is clearly a warning to others not to try to expose the dark side of politics in modern Russia.” In the past this blog has featured translations of New Times investigative articles. More info about this case after the cut.
From Reuters: Russia expels anti-Kremlin journalist
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian authorities expelled a Moldovan journalist critical of the Kremlin on Sunday in a move condemned by media watchdogs.Natalia Morar has written stories alleging how Russia’s December 2 parliamentary election was falsified and on the money trail from Kremlin officials to foreign banks for the small Russian monthly New Times.Morar studied and worked in Moscow but was pulled aside as she returned to the Russian capital’s Domodedevo airport from a press trip with other reporters to Israel and held until she could be transferred by plane to the Moldovan capital Chisinau.”This is certainly a response to the investigations of the magazine as a whole and the work of Natalia Morar, said New Times deputy editor Yevgenia Albats on radio Echo Moskvy.According to the magazine, Morar cleared passport control but was then stopped by customs officials and told she was being denied entry to the country on the orders of the FSB, Russia’s domestic security service.”This is an attempt to show that they have the tools to pressure us,” Albats told the radio station, one of the few outlets in Russia broadcasting news critical of the Kremlin.The International Federation of Journalists called on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe to investigate the case.”This action is a shocking violation of press freedom and is clearly a warning to others not to try to expose the dark side of politics in modern Russia,” Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, said on Sunday.The President of the Russian Union of Journalists, Vsevelod Bogdonov, also condemned Morar’s deportation and said his union would protest over the incident.(Reporting by Conor Sweeney; Editing by Janet Lawrence)