March 15, 2018
The Free Word Association expresses solidarity with the women journalists from TV Rain radio station, BBC and other media who suffered from humiliation and harassment from Leonid Slutsky, a deputy of the RF State Duma. We consider any disrespectful behaviour towards a female journalist performing her responsibilities to be a direct violation of her rights and the violation of the freedom of speech principle. In our opinion, the attempts of some deputies including the leaders of the State Duma to justify this behaviour and to regard these incidents as facts that do not deserve any attention are also violation of this principle. We support the demand to bring Leonid Slutsky to account in accordance with the norms of morality and the parliamentary ethics.
We support with the Women’s Manifesto of the International PEN, and we are convinced that discrimination against women working with the word is unacceptable. We support the documents of UNESCO, the European Federation of Journalists, and the OSCE, which demand that female journalists be respected and their safety be ensured.
In Russia, women constitute the majority of media employees, and many of them are internationally recognized for protecting human rights and freedoms. Anna Politkovskaya, Natalia Estemirova and other colleagues gave their lives for our rights and freedoms. Women journalists in Russia, as well as in the world, are three times more likely to be threatened and humiliated in the social networks than men, including threats of sexual violence and violence against their relatives. Yulia Latynina has left Russia because of life threats, and Elena Milashina and Elena Kostyuchenko have been forced to leave Russia for an uncertain period of time… Women journalists of Novaya Gazeta and other independent media are threatened systematically, up to threats to life. We call for an end to humiliations and threats, as well as to any kind of discrimination against women journalists.
Tatiana Sotnikova (Anna Berseneva)