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Dangerous Profession. Monitoring of Violations of Journalist' Rights in the CIS 2000

Missing or Kidnapped Journalists



Sergei Panarin

Correspondent, Shabalinsky Krai newspaper, Shabalino,
Kirov Region

In April (exact date unknown), Sergei Panarin, a correspondent
for Shabalinsky Krai newspaper was reported missing in the village of
Shabalino. District Prosecutor Vladimir Perminov has chosen not to disclose
information about the investigation. The cause of Panarin's disappearance
is not known.

Taisa Isaeva
Taisa Isaeva

Freelance journalist, Chechen Republic

On June 1, at the Nizhny Zaramag checkpoint on the Northern
Ossetian stretch of the border between Russia and Georgia, Russian frontier
guards detained Chechen journalist Taisa Isaeva, confiscating her video
camera and notebook PC.

There has been no further news of Taisa Isaeva to this

On August 29, 2000, V. A. Kalamanov, Special Presidential
Representative Defense of Human Rights and Civil Liberties in the Chechen
Republic received a letter from the Deputy Head of the Department for
Oversight of Law Enforcement by Regional Departments of the Interior and
the Federal Security Service in the Northern Caucasus, 3rd Class Justice
Councilor V. G. Chernov (No. 41/3-7/1B2-2000):

The appeal of the Secretary General of "Reporteurs sans
Frontieres" concerning the disappearance of journalist Taisa Isaeva has
been considered by the Head Department of the General Prosecutor's Office
in the Northern Caucasus.

According to information received from the North Caucasian
Regional Department of the Federal Border Service of Russia, on June 1,
2000, its agencies did not permit Taisa Isaeva to pass through the Nizhny
Zaramag checkpoint, but did not detain her.

According to reports from law enforcement officials in
the North Caucasus, the whereabouts of T. Isaeva are not yet known.

On August 28, 2000, on our orders, in connection with
the disappearance of T. Isaeva, the military prosecutor for the Federal
Border Service opened criminal investigation No. 32/16/0070-00 into possible
criminal activity covered under Article 127 of Part 1 of the Russian Criminal
Code ("Unlawful Imprisonment").

Missing since earlier years

Felix Titov
Felix Titov

Photographer, Nevskoe Vremya newspaper, St. Petersburg

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic between February
27 and March 4, 1995, together with Maxim Shabalin.

Born in 1960. Graduated from the Leningrad Military Mechanical
Institute. Since 1990, worked for Moscow-based newspaper Megapolis-Ekspress,
and since 1991, with Nevskoe Vremya. In the last few months before his
disappearance, also worked as a photographer for the Komissarzhevskaya

>Maxim Shabalin
Maxim Shabalin

Correspondent, Nevskoe Vremya newspaper, St. Petersburg

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic between February
27 and March 4, 1995, together with Felix Titov.

Born in 1968. Graduated from the Leningrad Shipbuilding
Institute in 1991. Since September 1990, a correspondent for Smena newspaper,
and since March 1991, a correspondent for Nevskoe Vremya newspaper. Since
1994, editor of Nevskoye Vremya politics section. Worked in Nagorno-Karabakh,
Tajikistan, Georgia, Transdniestria, Yugoslavia.

Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Ivanov

Freelance photo correspondent, St. Petersburg

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic on July 5, 1995 while
searching for Maxim Shabalin and Felix Titov.

Born in 1953. For over 20 years, worked in geological
expeditions. In the last few years, was a freelance photographer.

Andrew Shumak
Andrew Shumak

Freelance photographer, USA

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic on August 25, 1995.

Alexander Terentiev

Freelance journalist, human rights activist, Chelyabinsk

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic sometime between
January and April 1996. Journalist Irina Dementieva reports that Terentiev
had been held by Chechen secessionists since January 2, 1996. Interfax
news agency quoted officer Gennady Alekhin of the 58th Army Battalion
as having said on April 25 that Dzhokhar Dudaev's supporters were holding
"a journalist from Chelyabinsk by the name of Volodya." This is believed
to have referred to Alexander Terentiev.

Artur Umansky

Freelance journalist, Argun, Chechen Republic

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic on June 21, 1996.
On July 11, 1996, Kommersant-Daily reported that Umansky was going to
leave for Moscow, bringing evidence of outrageous violations of law committed
during the counting of votes after the June 16 elections. The headquarters
of Civic Forum political movement reported that Umansky, who had also
acted as an aide to presidential candidate Mikhail Gorbachev, disappeared
after telephoning the campaign headquarters of the former USSR leader
and saying that he was planning to return to Moscow with the documents.

Civic Forum reports that on the evening of June 21, armed
men came to Umansky's flat and took him away.

Andrei Bazavluk

Correspondent, Lita TV agency, Kharkov

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic together with Vitaly
Shevchenko on August 11, 1996.

Vitaly Shevchenko

Correspondent, Lita TV agency, Kharkov

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic together with Andrei
Bazavluk on August 11, 1996.

Elena Petrova

Correspondent, Lita TV agency, Kharkov

Disappeared in the Chechen Republic on August 28, 1996.

Sergei Semenduev
Sergei Semenduev

Freelance journalist, Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan

Sergei Semenduev was kidnapped on August 17, 1998 in
Makhachkala. He was born and raised in Dagestan and graduated from a local
pedagogical institute. For many years he worked for local newspapers and
in television.

Viktor Petrov

Correspondent, Operativniye Khroniki ("Urgent Chronicles")
TV program, Samara

On July 2, 1999, Viktor Petrov, the anchor of Urgent
Chronicles, a TV program produced in Samara, disappeared in Chechnya,
where he had gone in search of a captured soldier. On June 18, the journalist
phoned home from Nazran saying that he was leaving for negotiations with
the Chechens. He has not been heard from since.

Vladimir Yatsina
Vladimir Yatsina

Photo correspondent, ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow

Vladimir Yatsina was kidnapped in Chechnya on July 19,
1999. Shortly afterwards the kidnappers demanded 2 million US dollars
ransom. The amount was later brought down to 200 thousand US dollars.
According to witnesses who were also hostages, Yatsina was shot and killed
by Chechen combatants on the way to Shatoi because he had trouble with
his legs and could not walk fast enough.

Although the kidnappers got repeatedly in touch with
ITAR-TASS, no one tried to free journalist Vladimir Yatsina by paying
ransom for him.