MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Head of the Russian Journalists’ Union Vladimir Solovyov has urged colleagues to comply with security measures when planning trips to hot spots, following the deaths of three reporters from Russia in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Solovyov made this statement in an interview with TASS following the tragedy in the CAR.
The Russian Embassy in the Central African Republic reported on Tuesday that three men had been found dead near the city of Sibut (300 kilometers north of the CAR’s capital city Bangui) on July 30. The Russian Foreign Ministry said later that the men had press cards featuring the names Kirill Radchenko, Alexander Rastorguyev and Orkhan Dzhemal.
"Our colleagues who lost their lives in the Central African Republic can be called heroic people," Solovyov told TASS.
"All of them had numerously been to lots of trouble spots but, nevertheless, I believe that they showed recklessness in this situation because they entered that country without any special arrangements. Those people who sent them there are also partly to blame for that because it was necessary to get accreditation and permission from the local authorities, notify UN representatives and necessarily get in touch with the Russian embassy. Of course, it was absolutely reckless to ride at night across that country where a civil war is going on and where people can be killed for $10 and they [the reporters] had $8,500 and expensive equipment with them," Solovyov said.
The Russian Journalists’ Union chief also noted that the Russian camera crew had stayed in the Central African Republic without any security guards.
"They did not have any security guards and roving there at night is actually tantamount to suicide. Those who sent them there must have shelled out money for their security and several people who know the terrain and who know where to go and who know the behavior of local gangs must have guarded them," the head of the Russian Journalists’ Union said.
During such trips, schedules of radio contacts should be compiled and the route must be known to relatives and the editorial board, he added.
"A whole set of various measures exists and these measures will help one stay alive in any event and fulfil work as required," Solovyov said.
"A serious proposal has come from the Emergencies Ministry and other law-enforcement agencies - to prepare our colleagues [for such trips]. We are now holding consultations with them," he said.