Russian media’s #MeToo moment


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A dozen personal media retail outlets in Russia are boycotting the Russian Duma after its ethics committee failed to fetch any wrongdoing in the behaviour of Duma member Leonid Slutsky, who has been accused of sexual harassment.

In unhurried February, three feminine journalists – RTVI’s Ekaterina Kotrikadze, TVRain’s Darya Zhuk, and BBC’s Farida Rustamova – came ahead with accusations that Slutsky had inappropriately touched them and tried to kiss them in the center of interviews in the past.

In early March, Maria Zaharova, press secretary of the foreign ministry, also said that Slutsky had been verbally spoiled along with her after an legitimate occasion.

Slutsky, а member of the extremely-nationalist LDPR and head of the foreign relatives committee, has denied the accusations.

On Wednesday, the Duma’s ethics committee met to discuss about the topic and interview two of the journalists.

Riga-essentially based Russian data web page online Meduza published a leaked recording of the session, wherein participants of the committee regarded sceptical of the accusations, questioning their timing (upright before the elections) and motivation, with some even mocking them. One Chechen member of the Duma accused the three journalists of working for « enemy media ».

I nearly ask that Harvey Weinstein would possibly possibly possibly be given Russian citizenship and fetch himself [in Russia] surrounded by fancy-minded of us.

Kirill Martynov, Novaya Gazeta

After the session, member of the ethics rate, Raisa Karmazina urged the Russian media outlet The Insider that she by no manner experienced sexual harassment in the Impart Duma. « I change into once by no manner sexually harassed. And I change into once 300 times extra aesthetic than them! » she change into once quoted as asserting.

One other Duma member, Fatih Sibagatullin known as journalists « servants » and said: « If a girl would not like to, a person would no longer tease. »

In response to the cost’s conclusion, RBC media outlet, TVRain and Echo Moscow Radio launched on Thursday morning that they’ll cease sending correspondents to the Impart Duma. Hours later Russian newspapers Kommersant, Vedomisti and Novaya Gazeta joined them, along with a series of various personal print and online publications.

The Russsian Duma answered to this motion by cancelling accreditations for the media organisations that joined the boycott. Russia’s self ample Journalist Union escalated the boycott by issuing an originate letter to the Group for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), signed by bigger than 500 journalists, calling on the organisation to cease facing Slutsky and to condemn his behaviour.

Kiril Martynov, a political editor at Novaya Gazeta newspaper, urged Al Jazeera that he change into once bowled over that so many media organisations joined the boycott.

« We would fancy to discover one other ethics committee session, with various of us, where Slutsky is reproached and he admits wrongdoing. Till that happens, the boycott will continue, which is able to no longer be that worthy to raise out, » he said.

Talking at an EU-sponsored convention on gender in Moscow, he said that Russia, fancy the remainder of Europe, is experiencing comparable considerations facing considerations with gender and sexual harassment, nonetheless that the topic in the nation is mighty worse.

« Excellent discover at what’s occurring with Slutsky. I nearly ask that Harvey Weinstein would possibly possibly possibly be given Russian citizenship and fetch himself [in Russia] surrounded by fancy-minded of us, » he said.

The #MeToo advertising and marketing campaign ended in by allegations towards Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault did no longer attach mighty traction in Russia. However, a similar online advertising and marketing campaign in 2016 started by Ukrainian journalist Anastasiya Melinchenko with a hashtag YaNeBoyusSkazati (I am no longer disturbed to train) drew hundreds of Russians to fragment their experiences of gender-essentially based violence.

Russia currently does no longer like a law criminalising sexual harassment, even supposing in the past it has been proposed in the Impart Duma a series of times. After the spherical of allegations towards Slutsky, Duma member Oksana Pushkina launched that she can be proposing amendments to original legislation on sexual violence to address harassment.

Be aware Mariya Petkova on Twitter: @mkpetkova

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