US journalists victims of arbitrary treatment in St. Petersburg

posted 16 Oct 2014, 12:45 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 Oct 2014, 12:52 ]
16 October 2014

Source: (info)
Jo Bergantino, director of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and Randy Covington, director of Newsplex, a center for the study of new media techniques at the University of South Carolina, were detained in St Petersburg at the Socos hotel during a seminar on methods and ethics of investigative journalism.

Two people who introduced themselves as officers of the St. Petersburg department of the Federal Migration Service stated that the tourist visas, the basis for the US journalists being on Russian territory,  ‘did not give the right to conduct educational activity’, Radio Svoboda reports.

The visas of Jo Bertantino and Randy Covington were not usual tourist visas, but visas issued for a specific purpose, in line with the recommendation given to them by the US consulate in Moscow.

Aleksandr Gorshkov, chief editor of the internet portal and organizer of the seminar, said that the US journalists were at the Vasilyevsky Island district court where it is expected their future will be decided. 

The US journalists had planned to speak at the seminar on 17 October.

The St Petersburg department of the Federal Migration Service refused to give any information about the detention of the US journalists.