MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. US laws fail to protect mass media workers while covering protests, Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department Ilya Timokhov said at a meeting of the State Duma (parliament's lower house) Committee on Informational Policy, Technologies and Communications devoted to journalists’ safety at public events.
"In 2020, the situation in the United States remained most strained in this respect. Amid domestic political turbulence the country saw 388 cases of aggression against mass media workers, in contrast to just 35 such incidents in 2018. Most of them occurred during mass civil demonstrations," he said.
"We attribute this first and foremost to the lack of clear rules and responsibilities of journalists while covering mass events in the United States. The existing legislation in this field is too general and pseudo-liberal, which in reality results in the lack of protection of mass media workers," Timokhov said.
He pointed to "not only unceremonious attacks against mass media" but also to bureaucracy and procrastinations in investigating such incidents as a characteristic feature of the situation in the United States.
Timokhov recalled that journalists from RT, Sputnik and Russia’s Channel 1 were attacked by US law enforcers. "Police fired rubber bullets and sprayed tear gas. They did so very aggressively, sometimes straight in the face, and utterly ignored the special markings, IDs and press cards shown by our correspondents," he stated.