BBC News statement on intimidation in Russia

Date: 18.09.2014     Last updated: 18.09.2014 at 09.42
Category: News; Corporate
The BBC has today lodged a formal protest with the Russian authorities after a news team from our Moscow bureau was attacked in southern Russia whilst investigating reports of Russian servicemen being killed near the border with Ukraine.

After filming in the city of Astrakhan, our team was assaulted by unidentified men in a co-ordinated attack. Our staff were badly beaten, their camera destroyed and then taken. After alerting the emergency services, the team was then taken to a police station for four hours of questioning after which they discovered that recording equipment – which was in their vehicle, at the police station – had been electronically wiped.

The attack on our staff, and the destruction of their equipment and recordings, were clearly part of a co-ordinated attempt to stop accredited news journalists reporting a legitimate news story.

We deplore this act of violence against our journalists and call on the Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and to condemn the assault on our staff.

BBC Press Office