With comments by:
Although freedom of speech is guaranteed in Russia’s constitution, at least nineteen Russian journalists have been murdered on account of their work since the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s tenure in 1999. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Russia is now a more dangerous place for journalists than it was during the Cold War.
It is the third most deadly country in the world for the press and the ninth worst in solving murders of journalists—despite its otherwise strong record in criminal prosecution. While journalists are targeted for reporting on a variety of subjects, those covering events in the North Caucasus are particularly vulnerable.
Fatima Tlisova, an award-winning journalist with over ten years of experience in the North Caucasus, discussed press persecution in Russia and profiled the experiences of eight exiled journalists. She analyzed what can be learned about Russia’s approach to a free press through the techniques it employs to censor independent media and silence individuals. Her presentation was followed by comments by Jon Sawyer.
Fatima Tlisova is an award-winning investigative reporter with extensive experience in the conflict-ridden of Russia’s North Caucasus. Over the past decade, she has covered the most sensitive topics affecting the region, including human rights violations, torture and detention, women’s rights, nationalist sentiments, the role of Islam in regional affairs, and abuses of power by authorities. She served as editor-in-chief of the Regnum News Agency from 2004 to 2007 and has reported for Russia’s Novaya Gazeta, the Associated Press, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), the Jamestown Foundation, and Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty.
Most recently, Ms. Tlisova was a Carr Center Fellow and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. She is a recipient of the Gerd Bucerius Freedom of Expression Award, the Amnesty International UK Media Award, the Rory Pack Trust Award, the Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Award, and the Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.
Jon Sawyer is founding director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organization that funds independent reporting with the intent of raising the standard of media coverage of global affairs.