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    Russians Rally in Support of Recently Attacked Journalist


    by NTDTelevision

    Members of Russian opposition groups and defenders of a disputed forest near Moscow rally against the attacks on journalists and activists.

    More than two hundred Russian opposition members -- here in Moscow, on Sunday.

    The protesters hold banners reading in Russian. One banner says -- "Undisclosed murder attempts are the shame of the state". Another says -- "Who will protect the protectors?"

    These banners refer to the recent attacks on journalist Oleg Kashin and environmental activist Konstantin Fetisov.

    Oleg Kashin is a political correspondent with one of the leading Russian daily newspapers.

    He was badly beaten in Moscow last weekend and left with broken legs, fingers, a damaged skull and fractured jaw. He has been in intensive care and regained consciousness on Thursday -- still unable to speak.

    A string of journalists' murders in recent years have made Russia one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a reporter, human rights activists say.

    Protesters are criticizing the authorities for persecuting journalists, calling them "bandits".

    [Galina Mihkalyova, Yabloko Opposition Movement Member]:
    "The authorities, having a huge violent machine [consisting of] police, prosecution and courts, not only persecute the activists, they really act like bandits. The authorities are afraid of us. These authorities should resign. Down with bandit power! Down with bandit power!"

    Meanwhile, people beat drums and chanted along, demanding the Mayor of the town of Khimyi to resign.

    [Yevgenia Chirikiva, Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest]:
    "There are so many victims, so many people who suffered from this conflict. Today we received the information that the activist of our movement, Konstantin Fetisov, who was attacked on November 4 (2010), is feeling worse. Frankly speaking the man is dying, and we are scared. After all this is Khimki, not Afghanistan."