Human Rights Council dubs photographer Sinyakov's arrest a breach of media law
The Russian Presidential Human Rights Council's commission on the freedom of information and the rights of journalists has dubbed the arrest and piracy charges brought against photographer Denis Sinyakov a case of pressure on the media.
"We definitely regard the arrest and piracy charges against D. Sinyakov as pressure on the media," says a commission statement posted on the Council website on Thursday.
The commission said it was extremely concerned over the piracy charges brought against Sinyakov who did not participate in the action of the environmentalists.
"Denis was present on the Prirazlomnaya oilrig location in the line of his duty; he was not directly involved in the action of the Greenpeace activists. D. Sinyakov was working aboard the Arctic Sunrise as assigned by the Lenta.ru editor and carried the press card issued by that media outlet. His report was published on the website several days ago," the statement runs.
In the opinion of the commission, the arrest of D. Sinyakov directly breached the media law, "which refers not only to the staff but also to authors who do not have labor or other contracts with a media outlet but are recognized as freelancers or correspondents accomplishing assignments from the editors' office."
Greenpeace activists tried to climb the Prirazlomnaya oilrig in the Pechora Sea on September 18 to stage a protest against oil production in the Arctic. The day after Russian border guards embarked the Arctic Sunrise. The environmentalists were brought to the shore and put into a detention center. All the 30 crewmembers were arrested last week.
Amnesty International said on September 27 it was considering the recognition of the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise crew as prisoners of conscience.
Amnesty International Russia head Sergei Nikitin said they primarily implied photographer D. Sinyakov.
Sinyakov was charged with piracy on Thursday.