CODE OF CONDUCT FOR JOURNALISTS ON TERRORISM REPORTING

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CODE OF CONDUCT FOR JOURNALISTS ON TERRORISM REPORTING

Izvestia (Moscow), April 10, 2003, p. 3

On April 8, the Industrial Committee (a media industry association) passed an Antiterrorist Convention. This is a kind of corporate code of conduct for the media in the coverage of terrorist acts and counter-terrorist operations. The Code does not approve of unsolicited interviews with terrorists, except for those sanctioned by the staff in charge of an operation. It also tells journalists not to act as intermediaries in talks with terrorists, take up arms, wear camouflage or ask terrorists to do anything in order to create spectacular images for television or photographs.

The Industrial Committee also unanimously approved the text of an address to the U.S. and British authorities, in protest at gunfire on journalists.

RUSSIA AND LITHUANIA FINALIZE AGREEMENT ON READMISSION

Izvestia (Moscow), April 10, 2003, p. 3

Russian and Lithuanian experts have managed to reach complete agreement on the contents of a draft inter-governmental agreement on reception and readmission of illegal migrants. “It took Russia and Lithuania the shortest possible time to work out this agreement on readmission, which in a sense is the first of its kind,” says the official report of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The experts agreed that all procedures essential for the agreement to be signed must be expedited as much as possible. The agreement may be signed as soon as late April. “This fact proves that the allegations that Moscow is trying to delay talks on this matter are groundless.”

PEOPLE’S SERVANTS TURN THE MASTERS OUT

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 10, 2003, EV

Deputy Interior Minister Aleksander Chekalin has reported to the Duma about the enforcement of the draconian law on Russian citizenship. The law creates a predicament for Russian residents who legally entered Russia before July 2002, got registered, have accommodation, work or are on a pension – but have not been granted citizenship yet. Now such people are required to secure a permit for residence in the Russian Federation, which will take them about six months. On obtaining the permit, they will have to live in Russia for three years with it, and then wait another five years to be granted citizenship. There are around half a million people whom the state does not seem to be eager to accept as citizens. Last week the Duma considered a draft law which was supposed to spare this category of residents the need to apply for the residence permit and allow them to apply for the citizenship immediately. But the Unity (Yedinstvo) faction and other centrist parties, together with the Liberal Democratic Party, voted down the bill. Mr. Chekalin said yesterday that attempts are being made to solve the problem with the help of an “interdepartmental instruction”. It is not clear so far, however, when this instruction is going to be issued or what it is like.

PERSONA NON GRATA

Moskovsky Komsomolets, April 10, 2003, EV

The Russian government has issued a list of departments and services that may declare a foreign visitor persona non grata in Russia. According to the Cabinet staff, the final decision on declaring someone persona non grata is to be made a month after the authorized department or service presents the case to the government. In the event of an unfavorable decision for a foreign visitor, the latter will be immediately notified of that. Those who are intending to come to Russia will be denied an entry visa in this case. An authority responsible for national security (most likely the Interior Ministry) will keep a record of foreigners who are not allowed to enter the country.

Eight departments and government bodies are authorized to declare individuals persona non grata in the Russian Federation. These are the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Defense Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Financial Monitoring Committee, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Justice Ministry, and the Foreign Ministry.

ANTI-WAR RALLY GATHERS 100,000 PEOPLE NEAR U.S. EMBASSY IN MOSCOW

Izvestia, April 10, 2003, p. 4 EV

The anti-war rally organized by the United Russia (Yedinaya Rossiya) Party outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow gathered some 100,000 people, according to Valery Gribakin, head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Moscow Chief Department of Internal Affairs. Demonstrators demanded an immediate end to the war in Iraq. It was not the first anti-war rally near the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, but none has ever gathered such a number of people before.

NORTH KOREA: U.N. SANCTIONS MEAN WAR

Izvestia, April 10, 2003, p. 4 EV

Late yesterday, the UN Security Council considered North Korea’s withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United States presented a proposal to condemn Pyongyang for its decision. But the Council’s permanent members have no unanimous opinion on this issue. According to unofficial reports, London and Paris are ready to support the United States’ proposal, Moscow is hesitating, while Beijing, the former ally of Pyongyang in the Korean war, strongly objects. North Korea accused Washington of exerting pressure on the UN Security Council, Reuters reports. Pyongyang believes that re-accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty is impossible. It requires simultaneous negotiations with the United States with regard to a new non-aggression pact. North Korea has claimed several times before that it will regard any sanctions the UN may impose on it as a declaration of war.

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