Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Russia, February 7, 2007

Russian journalist seeks political asylum in Ukraine

"A Russian journalist has requested political asylum in Ukraine, he said Tuesday, claiming that authorities in Siberia fabricated a criminal case against him as retribution for his investigations into suspected corruption among regional officials.

Alexander Kosvintsev said he feared for his safety in Russia because of his work, including with a paper he founded in the 1990s in his home region of Kemerovo, in central Siberia. He told The Associated Press that the subjects of his journalistic probes included the regional governor, Aman Tuleyev.

He asserted that a criminal case authorities in Kemerovo opened against him on charges of illegal entrepreneurship was politically motivated and fabricated, and that law enforcement agents in the region have harassed his relatives in their efforts to prosecute him.

Journalists who criticize or investigate officials and companies, particularly in Russia's far-flung regions, often complain of harassment and threats by local authorities and gangs. Many observers contend that Russian authorities resent critical reporting and are uninterested in solving journalists' killings that have plagued the country."