“TNS Energo Penza” security detains “PenzaNews” photo reporter
Penza, 3 November 2015. PenzaNews. The security service of “TNS Energo Penza” has detained Maxim Kostyushin, PenzaNews agency photo reporter, when he was taking photos of the company’s building under the orders of the editorial office to accompany a report of the recent 650,000-rubles fine.
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“I was taking photos of the building on Gagarina street this morning. A security officer came out, and told me this is private property and that allegedly, taking photos here is prohibited. There were no notices saying so on the premises. Afterwards, he told me to follow him inside for further investigation. We went up to the 4th floor, when a woman met me. Without any introduction, she began questioning me on the reasons behind the photoshoot. I explained that I have the rights to do so in accordance with the media laws and the orders from my editorial office. After they schooled me, they let me go; however, I failed to complete the given task in full as I did not make all the necessary photoshoots in time,” Maxim Kostyushin explained in the morning of Tuesday, November 3.
Immediately after the incident, the PenzaNews agency editor-in-chief Pavel Polosin contacted Roman Chernov, deputy general director of “TNS Energo,” managing director of “TNS Energo Penza,” by phone for explanations on the detention, reminding the latter that interfering with the lawful activities of the press is prohibited by law.
During a brief discussion that ensured, Roman Chernov expressed full support of the actions taken by the company’s security service and made it clear that he considers the premises of the building on Gagarina street inaccessible for random photoshoots.
He also suggested making any further photoshoots on agreement with the top management of “TNS Energo Penza,” although he struggled to name the law to back his suggestion.
The editorial office of PenzaNews agency will be reporting the incident to the Glasnost Defense Foundation, the Center for Legal Support of Journalists under the All-Russian People’s Front, and the Russian Union of Journalists.