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29 Oct, 2020 12:04

Russian film crew attacked in Philadelphia just ONE day after embassy warns about safety of journalists working in US

Russian film crew attacked in Philadelphia just ONE day after embassy warns about safety of journalists working in US

The treatment of journalists in the US is again under the spotlight after Russian correspondent Georgy Olisashvili and his cameraman were attacked on the streets of Philadelphia, and received minimal support from the police.

The assault comes just a day after the Russian Embassy in Washington warned journalists to remain vigilant, following the interrogation of an RT reporter at a New York City airport by US security services. The embassy recommended that Russian media workers in the country “keep in mind the bias of the US authorities against them.” 

According to Olisashvili, who works for Russia’s Channel One, they were approached by a group of “very aggressive guys,” who robbed them of their video camera. Olisashvili’s operator, Maxim Kataev, suffered a concussion after being hit multiple times in the head and neck. Despite contacting the police, Olisashvili says that officers refused to go to the scene of the crime, and would only let them file a report.

Olisashvili and Kataev were reporting on riots in the city of Philadelphia, which began after the police shot and killed a black man named Walter Wallace. The protests are the latest in a string of demonstrations against the police’s violent treatment of black people, who activists say are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement. Earlier this summer, international headlines were dominated by riots in Minneapolis, Kenosha, and Louisville.

Also on rt.com An attack on freedom of speech? Russian Embassy slams US plans to shorten foreign journalist visas to just 240 days

On October 28, the Russian Embassy in Washington accused the US of discriminating against RT correspondent Konstantin Rozhkov on the basis of his nationality. According to the embassy’s Facebook page, Rozhkov was interrogated for almost an hour “about his professional journalistic activities,” just 12 days after similar questioning on the way into the country.

“We are concerned that harassment of journalists is becoming a common practice in the United States,” the statement read. “We will bring this negative trend to the attention of human rights and international organizations.”

Earlier this week, the same embassy criticized Washington for proposing new visa restrictions for international journalists. In late September, the US Department of Homeland Security proposed a rule that would limit foreign journalists’ stay to 240 days, before needing to apply for an extension. The current time limit is five years.

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