The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) issued Tuesday a press release in Washington with a statement from BBG Chairman Jeff Shell protesting against the Russian government’s denial of a visa to David Satter, an RFE/RL journalist adviser, as “gross interference in the operations of Radio Liberty.”
Earlier in the day, the U.S. State Department said in Washington it is “disappointed” that U.S. journalist and RFE/RL adviser David Satter has been denied a visa by Russian authorities, RFE/RL reported.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on January 14 that “hindering the free flow of information undermines… free debate and discussion.”
U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (Democrat-New York), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the visa denial was “another blow to freedom of the press and independent journalism in Russia.”
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB), a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to strengthen free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries with restricted and developing media environments, issued a statement condemning the the Russian government’s denial of a visa to David Satter and preventing him from working as a journalist in Russia.
“We hope Moscow will reconsider its unfortunate decision,” CUSIB said. “Any further Russian Government’s actions against any RFE/RL journalists will be met with vigorous protests from all media freedom organizations, including ours,” CUSIB Executive Director Ann Noonan and CUSIB co-founder Ted Lipien said in a statement.
CUSIB’s Ted Lipien reported on the story in a news backgrounder in Digital Journal. His report explains why and how the Russian authorities arranged for the visa denial for Satter and tried to put a blame on him.
Satter posted the chronology of events on his website, davidsatter.com.
BBG Press Release
On behalf of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees civilian U.S. international media worldwide, BBG Chair Jeffrey Shell today issued the following statement regarding the Russian government’s refusal of a visa for David Satter.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors views the Russian government’s denial of a visa to David Satter, an RFE/RL journalist adviser, as gross interference in the operations of Radio Liberty.
We support the right to free speech and journalistic liberty everywhere.
The BBG and the management of RFE/RL demand that this decision from Russia regarding Mr. Satter be reversed. Russian journalists from RT and other media are able to work in the United States without interference or censorship. We insist on the same for our journalists and our broadcasts in Russia.