FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2007
For more information:
Letter in Support of Internews
President Vladimir Putin
c/o U.S. Embassy in Russia
Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8
Moscow 121099, Russian Federation
PSC-77, APO AE 09721
Dear President Putin:
We are writing on behalf of the International Women’s Media Foundation to express our concern regarding Internews Russia.
The Educated Media Foundation (formerly known as Internews Russia), has been forced to suspend operations following the initiation of a criminal investigation into its president, Manana Aslamazyan, and a subsequent raid on its Moscow headquarters by Russian police in April.
An independent Russian non-governmental organization, EMF is a leading source of professional training and support for Russian media. We are alarmed that the suspension of activities at Internews Russia bars journalists and media professionals from training opportunities and signals more restrictions on free expression and press freedom in Russia.
We express our support and join in solidarity with Internews; we believe its audiences and readers deserve access to diverse and independent sources of information. As a network of thousands of women and men in the media around the world who are supporters of a worldwide free press, we respectfully urge you to intervene to ensure that Internews Russia remains open. By using your power to ensure that justice is done in this case, you will take a strong step toward preserving a free and independent press in Russia.
Thank you for your attention.
Eleanor Clift, co-chair
Liza Gross, co-chair
cc: Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007
Fax: (202) 298-5735
Vice President for Europe, Eurasia and ICT Policy
1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20036