A few days ago, the famous St. Petersburg poet and journalist Tatyana Voltskaya wrote on her blog:
“They are shooting. This time in my garden. They are preparing to start a criminal case in my interview “People are Forcibly Disabled. Resuscitator on Infernal Working Conditions” - under the fresh article 207.1 on faknews. My anonymous interlocutor said that in large hospitals in the city and without any pandemic, resuscitators are sorely lacking, so they often simply do not have time to physically help patients, and that in these cases everything is covered by the "skillful" management of medical records.
Guess three times whom the senior investigator of the first investigative department for investigating especially important cases, the captain of justice V. Belyakov, the chief physicians, ran like to check, how are they with the staff list and with the IVL apparatuses — or a journalist who accurately conveyed the words of his interlocutor? That's right - a journalist. Because they have a campaign right now - to shut up all the throats that still pronounce the truth. Now searches are possible with the seizure of all digital technology in the house, which is especially nice for Seraphim, who is finishing grade 11. Well, and, of course, interrogations, courts, all this.
Just in case - suddenly someone doubts - I do not regret anything. A journalist, hearing “Burns, burns,” must first convey this cry. And if we don’t give a voice to people who, overcoming fear, try to tell us the truth - the way they see and understand it, then we will suffocate in smoke and shit. This post is not calling for anything. I am writing - just so you know ... "
This sad news did not pass by Tatyana's colleagues in the shop. Russian association of independent media "Syndicate 100" acted in defense of journalists prosecuted for their professional activities, and gaining momentum against censorship in the era of the pandemic:
“Our dear readers, viewers, listeners. The situation is forcing us, journalists, to this appeal. Now is a difficult time for everyone. The epidemic and economic crisis have become a test for all. This time requires from society and from each person responsible actions that are possible only in a situation of mutual trust, at least minimal. And trust can and should be based on maximum awareness of what is happening.
The function of the press is to talk about what really happens. Now this function is more than ever critical for each of you reading this letter. Because each of you and your loved ones can be a patient in a hospital bed without proper care, or a doctor without treatment, or an employee left without a livelihood, or ... You can easily continue this series yourself.
A story about problems is the first step to solving them. Silence about problems is a way to aggravate them. It is clear that the press, talking about them, voluntarily or involuntarily points to the culprits of the problems. And this is not always a virus - a substance meaningless and not responsible. Often these are very specific people with first and last names, endowed with powers and who cannot cope with these powers either because of incompetence or for other reasons.
The virus will leave sooner or later, but they will remain. Independent and truthful information infuriates those who, having the authority in a crisis situation, do poorly in their work.
Because the epidemic is already actively used to pressure journalists.
The authorities are talking to the press using military vocabulary, directly threatening. The tool of pressure is, inter alia, the hastily adopted law on criminal liability for the distribution of fake coronavirus.
“Based on this law, wild fines are already being threatened by the independent Krasnoyarsk television channel TVK, the portal ProUf.
- St. Petersburg journalist Tatyana Voltskaya is under threat of criminal prosecution for an interview on the topic of coronavirus.
The law has been passed recently. The flywheel is gaining momentum quickly. We consider it important to say the words of support to all our colleagues, who today in difficult conditions, performing their work honestly and professionally, are subjected to pressure from the authorities.
We must understand that in the current environment, journalists are often forced to resort to anonymous sources of information: doctors who are ready to heroically confront the epidemic are not always ready to communicate openly with the press because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The journalist is obliged to talk about what is happening, even if his source does not want to call himself. And then this journalist and his publication run the risk of becoming subject to the application of “anti-fake” legislation.
You who read this letter should understand that the law and enforcement are not directed against false information in this case. They are directed against information as such. And they are directed against each of you.
We are writing this letter to you, because today more than ever an independent press needs public support. The price to every independent publication strangled these days is people's lives. This is not a metaphor. This is reality".