Censorship | Russia | Sochi Olympics

Russian Authorities Harassing, Detaining Foreign And Local Journalists: VIDEO

 Oystein Bogen and Aage Aune

In news that will be shocking to approximately no one, multiple outlets are reporting on Russian authorities cracking down on journalists, both foreign and domestic, through detainment and intimidation.

Local news sources are more or less forbidden on reporting on anything bad happening in the country. A correspondent for a major unnamed Russian news agency filed reports for three different stories: the suspicious circumstances around the arrest of Sochi journalist Nikolai Yarst; waterworks malfunctions in a shoddy housing project built to house evicted Sochi residents; and a major storm that was approaching Sochi. All three were rejected and the correspondent was told by his/her editor: 

You may have a storm, a twister, and even a 9-Richter-scale earthquake; still, we have to write that all skies are clear over Sochi.

Foreign press are having it even worse as evidenced by the harassment of TV2 Norway reporter Ã˜ystein Bogen and his cameraman and photographer Aage Aune. When they were on assignment in the Republic of Adygea, which borders Sochi to the north along the Black Sea coast, to report on the impact of the Olympics on locals, the two were stopped six times and detained three times over the course of just three days. They were not allowed to contact the Norwegian embassy, interrogated about their personal lives, almost coerced into taking a drug test which Bogen and Aune suspected would have been deliberately contaminated, and even threatened with jail time. In addition, their personal electronics were taken and Bogen is certain that his phone's SIM card was copied, as several of his contacts were interrogated after he left the country.

You can watch a HuffPost Live! interview with Bogen AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Congratulations coca cola - really backed yourselves a winner

    Posted by: Tristram | Feb 1, 2014 9:49:59 AM

  2. There is nothing in the definition of the word Fascism that does not perfectly describe modern Russia. The rise of Putin bears some striking resemblances to the rise of Nazi Germany.

    * Persecuting minorities ?
    * Full support of dominant local religions ?
    * Corporate intimacy with government ?
    * Gangs of thugs working for Glorious Leader ?
    * Expansionism (Ukraine=Poland?)
    * Militarism

    We need one very good assassin.

    Posted by: Steve Rider | Feb 1, 2014 10:02:14 AM

  3. Russians behaving like desperate, power-crazed thugs?? Drunk Nazis and Soviets with ED and stupid hats.

    Posted by: Onnyjay | Feb 1, 2014 10:22:23 AM

  4. The International Olympic Committee made a terrible mistake choosing Sochi for these games. The corporate sponsors have contracts with the IOC -- they'd be sponsors regardless of the location. It was a bad choice based on climate alone. Who could have predicted the historically authoritarian culture of Russia would assert itself . . . other than just about anyone?

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Feb 1, 2014 10:56:07 AM

  5. this is old news folks - happened in november:


    Posted by: John | Feb 1, 2014 11:32:18 AM

  6. In Russia, the journalists don't ask questions, Russia asks the journalists questions.

    Posted by: bollox | Feb 1, 2014 11:56:13 AM

  7. @ STEVE RIDER :
    I totally agree.... anyone who reads history will have recognized the signs.
    Even the fact that the closeted gay fascist Putin came back for another term as President having served as Prime Minister show what a power hungry tool he is.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 1, 2014 12:04:48 PM

  8. It's all worth it just so some athletes get a few shiny objects and endorsements. Isn't that the argument made?

    Posted by: Shawn Fassett | Feb 1, 2014 1:44:33 PM

  9. I love these articles about the crap that happens everywhere else.

    We have things going on here in the USA, right now, that are truly horrific, concealed, unreported, and nobody cares because, well, we're "America" and "yay team USA".

    Wake up, we have plenty of fascists here now getting away with far worse.

    Posted by: Just Sayin' | Feb 1, 2014 2:21:23 PM

  10. John, you apparently didn't read the whole article as Bogen and Aune were only used as an example. There are more examples cited and linked in the paragraphs above. BTW, the Russian apology to the Norwegians was laughable. The thugs who harassed them were more likely promoted than punished.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | Feb 1, 2014 2:38:43 PM

  11. @JPECKJR: "The corporate sponsors have contracts with the IOC -- they'd be sponsors regardless of the location."

    To suggest that multi-billion-dollar corporations have no choice and no influence is absurd. Furthermore, even if somehow the sponsors can't divest, they're still accountable for the consequences of agreements they undertook voluntarily. To say otherwise would be like saying drunk drivers can't be held responsible when they run people over because they had no control. They put themselves in that situation voluntarily, knowing the risks. Likewise, Olympic sponsors knew before committing themselves--from past games and current world affairs--that their money might go to advancing a fascist regime. They are responsible for every cent they spend propping up Vladimir Putin and his thugs.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 1, 2014 3:50:38 PM

  12. ^^^ Oops, forgot to say that the sponsors knew the risks before committing themselves AND if they didn't impose terms that would protect them from having to fund corrupt regimes, then they got the bargain they wanted. I suspect that such terms DO exist but sponsors simply don't want to exercise them and lose their profits. Presumably, they could challenge the IOC and assert that Russia has violated the agreed human rights terms of the Olympic charter and therefore the games aren't entitled to the promised sponsorship.

    Posted by: JJ | Feb 1, 2014 5:54:16 PM

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