A raft of well-known Russian publications have blacked out their images in both print and online in a show of support for freelance photographer Denis Sinyakov, who was arrested during Greenpeace’s protest against Arctic drilling protest this week.
The one-day picture blackout has been implemented by Rain TV, Lenta, Gazeta, Echo of Moscow, Bolshoi Gorod, Snob, Novaya Gazeta, Russian Reporter and numerous other media outlets. An open letter signed by more than 150 journalists, editors and photojournalists, described Sinyakov’s arrest as a “blow to freedom of expression and journalistic immunity from prosecution”.
It adds: “Denis has an impeccable reputation. He has been photographing conflicts in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia, and nowhere have there been any issues of bias … We insist that the investigation free Denis Sinyakova and strip him of all charges.”
While 30 Greenpeace activists were arrested, Sinyakov was one of three to have been refused bail and remanded in custody. Russian prosecutors have accused the activists of piracy, a crime that carries a sentence of 15 years in jail. The activists were aboard a Greenpeace boat to protest drilling at an oil rig in the Pechora Sea, north of Russia.