Reporters without Borders, an international press freedom watchdog group, has been suddenly and unexpectedly stripped of their travel visas to attend an event to honor Anna Politkovskaya and screen a new documentary. I first caught this news late last night from RFE/RL, who writes that RSF was “shocked” by the government’s decision to not allow them into the country.
This comment struck me as somewhat amusing and interesting. We all remember that the very same thing was done to Kenneth Roth, the director of Human Rights Watch, right after the organization had published a critical (and very well done) report on the rights situation in Russia. Hugo Chavez is fond of doing pulling the same moves on HRW, and likely RSF in the future. When we pretend to be shocked and surprised that the Kremlin acts like an authoritarian state, it is a thinly veiled diplomatic courtesy which contributes to the presumption of regularity.
Read the RSF notice on the Russia visa denial here … video is below.