The Swiss foreign ministry has berated Russia for targeting the media during its invasion of Ukraine. Several reporters have complained of being attacked by Russian forces, including a Swiss journalist who was injured and robbed this week.
Russia has placed heavy restrictions on media reporting of the invasion and has passed a law threatening to jail journalists for 15 years if they criticise the military action. Several foreign news outlets have stopped operating within Russia as a result.
“Switzerland condemns the tightening of restrictions on freedom of expression and media freedom in Russia - including the blocking of social media and websites of independent media. Any form of disinformation must be rejected,” read a foreign ministry tweet on Tuesday.
The tweet also condemned the treatment of journalists in Ukraine by Russian armed forces. “Switzerland is also concerned about attacks on media workers in Ukraine and calls for compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights.”
A Swiss journalist was reportedly taken to hospital after being wounded in the face and arm in the southern part of the country.
A passport, 3,000 euros in cash, personal belongings, a helmet, photographic equipment and a laptop were allegedly taken from him.
Even before the Ukraine invasion Russia was ranked 150th out of 180 in a press freedom index by the organisation Reporters Without Borders. Since the conflict, social media such as Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in Russia.
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