“I am appalled that these VOA journalists, who were only doing their job of reporting accurate information, were beaten and harassed by security forces,” VOA Director Amanda Bennett said. “Intimidation only generates an opposite effect. VOA will not be deterred in its efforts to seek out and share the truth.”
“This is an aggressive act that uses the outrageous pretext of extremism to censor RFE/RL and prevent audiences in Russia and Crimea from learning the truth about the annexation,” RFE/RL Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said in a statement on May 12. “We condemn it as an attack on RFE/RL’s operations and the public’s fundamental right to freely access information,” he added.