MEDIA
09/19/2014 09:21 am ET Updated Sep 19, 2014

News Organizations Worldwide Condemn Attack On BBC News Team In Russia

Jeff Overs via Getty Images

News organizations around the world came out on Thursday to express outrage over the recent attack on a BBC News team and to demand that a detailed investigation be launched.

The BBC News team was approached in its car by a group of unidentified men while reporting in southern Russia on the death of a soldier near the Ukraine border. The attackers smashed the crew's camera and violently beat the cameraman. Following police questioning hours later, the BBC crew realized that material had also been completely erased from the equipment they left in their car.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said Thursday that a thorough investigation must be launched into this "appalling" attack.

“We join international condemnation of this attack and we call on Russian authorities to ensure that a detailed investigation is carried out so the perpetrators of this crime face the full weight of justice,” IFJ general secretary Beth Costa said.

The European Federation of Journalists echoed IFJ in condemning the attacks and urging that the perpetrators be made to "answer for their crimes." The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) also joined in on the call to action Thursday, calling it a "totally unacceptable" threat to press freedom.

"This was an appalling attack on BBC journalists and press freedom," NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said. "I would appeal to all those in positions of influence to unite against this type of behaviour and ensure journalists can do their jobs."

Threats to the media have become increasingly frequent in Russia as a result of the months-long violence between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.

BBC News has also called for an investigation into the act and launched a "formal protest" against Russian authorities in a statement released Thursday.

(h/t: The Guardian)

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