Russian journalists are going through prejudice and routine harassment by American authorities, Russia’s embassy in Washington has warned, after US safety providers questioned an RT filmmaker for hours and combed by way of his gadgets.
RT documentarian Konstantin Rozhkov was stopped by US federal brokers at a New York airport quickly after arriving within the nation on Wednesday, the place he was subjected to a three-hour interrogation and compelled to offer entry to his electronics.“The journalist was requested to open all electronic media, as well as explain publicly available information, including about him receiving the Russian-made vaccine, Sputnik V,” the embassy stated in an announcement, including that Rozhkov was additionally questioned about his “correspondence related to journalistic activities.”This interrogation of a Russian journalist clearly went past the same old public security procedures. We contemplate what occurred to be a brazen try by US authorities to strain different media that problem the dominant mainstream narratives.
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Rozhkov – whose employer is registered as a “foreign agent” with the Department of Justice according to US legislation – traveled to the nation to report on the 2020 presidential race, like numerous different journalists, correspondents and filmmakers from information organizations across the globe. The journalist stated that quickly after touchdown in New York, he was “asked to go to a private room,” the place safety personnel “immediately took my passport, phone and laptop. They said to unlock my iPhone so they could view its content.”The interrogation lasted hours, seeing the brokers ask a litany of probing questions, which Rozhkov stated “became more and more sophisticated” over time, together with queries equivalent to “Are you aware that RT is a foreign agent,” and “How was your vaccination, Konstantin? Any shoulder pains?”The journalist was additionally requested why he was “going to film protests during the presidential election,” summarizing his reply: “Because this is what’s happening in America right now, and it’s being filmed by journalists from all over the world.”Rozhkov was later launched when US authorities couldn’t discover “anything to complain about,” along with his belongings returned.
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It is unclear whether or not the brokers actually hoped to study something in regards to the vaccine or have been merely making an attempt to unnerve Rozhkov. It is equally unclear what they anticipated to search out on the journalist’s electronics, however regardless of calls from Moscow to the US State Department to clarify the incident, the embassy has but to obtain a response.In gentle of the difficulty confronted by Rozhkov and different Russian reporters up to now – equivalent to Alexander Malkevich, who was detained for questioning by the FBI at a Washington, DC airport in 2018 – the embassy cautioned journalists to “consider the biased attitude towards them by the American authorities” and the “high probability of provocations to create a pretext to blame our citizens for interfering in US internal affairs.”The Russian diplomatic workplace additionally cited quite a lot of instances during which US legislation enforcement used extreme and “arbitrary” power in opposition to Russian nationals overlaying unrest in Minneapolis and Portland earlier this yr. To date, US officers have refused to touch upon these instances, regardless of repeated requests from the embassy.
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