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Journalists speak out in support of detained photographer Denis Sinyakov

27 September 2013 

The chief editors and journalists of a number of major Russian media have published an open letter in support of the press photographer Denis Sinyakov who was onboard the ship Arctic Sunrise during the protest at the Prirazlomnaya oil rig and has since been remanded in custody for a period of two months. 

“On 26 September the Lenin district court in Murmansk ordered that photo-journalist Denis Sinyakov be remanded in custody for two months. He had been detained on the ship Arctic Sunrise near the oil rig Prirazlomnaya from which he was covering the Greenpeace protest for Despite this, the court ruled that he be held on remand along with the Greenpeace activists who had been the subjects of his reporting. 

The prosecution of Denis Sinyakov is a blow to freedom of speech and to a journalist’s immunity from prosecution for reporting on events. Throughout the whole world, the immunity of journalists for reporting on current events is the basis of the ethics of journalism. Denis had an irreproachable reputation among his colleagues. He had covered military conflicts in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia. He never received complaints that his work lacked objectivity or that he took sides in the events he covered. Denis is married and has a small child who is waiting for him at home. 

In solidarity with Denis, a number of media outlets  have today substituted blank spaces for all photographs on their websites. 

We insist that the authorities release Denis Sinyakov and dismiss all charges against him. We ask all those who are not indifferent to what has happened to support Denis. 

We appeal to the leaders of the state to observe the rule of law and call on them to pay attention to this situation." 

Galina Timchenko, chief editor
Ksenia Chudinova, chief editor of Big City 
Mikhail Zygar, editor in chief of TV channel Dozhd 
Dmitry Muratov, editor in chief of Novaya gazeta 
Sergei Shargunov, chief editor of Free Press 
Tatiana Filimonov, chief editor of Russian Reporter Online 
Maria Tsybulskaya, editor in chief of Equal Right to Life 
Katya Bogachevskaja, editor of journal 
Evgenia Albats, editor in chief of The New Times 
Maria Stepanova, editor 
Vladimir Baranov, the head of editorial photo-information RIA Novosti 
Andrei Polikanov, head of photo department Russian Reporter 
Ilya Dyer, director of Afisha
Elena Barishev, chief-editor of Moscow News 
Aleksandr Gabuev, deputy chief editor of Kommersant-Vlast 
Aleksei Venediktov, editor in chief Echo of Moscow 
Vitaliy Puvinskii, chief editor of Echo of Moscow 
Elena Savina, chief editor of REN-TV 
Ekaterina Savina, Editor 
Ilya Klishin, Editor in Chief of TV channel Dozhd 
Mitya Aleshkovsky, photographer 
Oleg Kashin, unemployed 
Evgeny Feldman, Novaya gazeta 
Aleksandr Astakhov, Vedomosti 
Ilya Shepelin correspondent 
Ekaterina Vinokurova, 
Lika Kremer, director of development at Snob 
Sergei Ponomarev, photojournalist 
Dmitry Kostyuk, journalist 
Julia Bashinova, 
Yuri Timofeev, Moscow Times 
Sergei Znaemsky, editor of Avto Review 
Valery Melnikov, RIA Novosti photojournalist 
Mary Lobanov, picture editor, Weekend 
Oleg Prasolov, photographer, Rossiiskaya gazeta 
Nigina Beroyeva, special correspondent Komsomolskaya pravda 
Mikhail Osokin, broadcaster REN TV 
Sergei Shakhidzhanyan, senior editor of picture-agency Photo ITAR-TASS 
Ilya Zhegulov, columnist for Forbes 
Sergei Chirikov, journalist 
Maksim Shemetov, Reuters photographer 
Roman Kulguskin, multimedia reporter Argumenty i Fakty 
Pavel Bednyakov, Managing photo editor of 
Vasily Dzhaparidze, photo agency ITAR-TASS 
Michael Pochuev, photo correspondent ITAR-TASS 
Vladimir Astapkovich, RIA Novosti photo correspondent 
Denis Abramov, a photojournalist, Vedomosti
Elizabeth Belikov, photo editor, Hollywood Reporter 
Gennady Avramenko, Moskovsky komsomolets 
Olesya Kurpyaeva, photographer of Rossiiskaya gazeta 
Andrei Makhonin, photographer, Vedomosti 
Ilya Pitalev, RIA Novosti photo correspondent 
Lisa Factor, producer of photos and film documentaries, Screen 
Arseny Kosterin Bild magazine editor project Argumenty i Fakty 
Gleb Shchelkunov, photographer Kommersant 
Pavel Pelevin, photographer RTR, 
Aleksandr Mysyakin, photographer, 
Mikhail Sapa, a photographer of the Russian Football Union 
Damir Bulatov, photographer, Izvestia, cameraman, Lifenews 
Anna Volkova, photo editor, The New Times 
Sergei Grachev, a freelance photographer 
Saffron Golikov, picture editor, Kommersant 
Valery Levitin, a special photo-correspondent, RIA Novosti 
Petr Antonov, Grinberg photo agency photographer 
Oleg Burnaev, photo editor, Rolling Stone magazine 
Svetlana Pukhov, photo editor, Azbuka-Attikus 
Artem Sizov, photo editor, Vedomosti 
Dmitry Rogulin, photographer, ITAR-TASS 
Laura Ilyin, photo editor, Nasha Versiya 
Viktor Khuseinov, photographer, Komsomolskaya pravda - Kaliningrad 
Viktoriya Ivleva, photographer, journalist, winner of the World Press Photo award
Anna Zikr, agency Salt Images 
Ekaterina Novikova, editor and analyst, RIA Novosti 
Konstantin Zavrazhin, photographer 
Albert Shar, photo club PROyavlenie, Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) 
Anton Novoderezhkin, photographer, ITAR-TASS 
Pavel Ptitsyn, freelance photographer 
Evgeny Razumny, freelance photographer 
Vladimir Pomortsev, photographer 
Anton Sergienko, photographer, Sport-Express  
Oksana Jusko, a freelance photographer 
Maria Pleshkova, freelance photographer 
Maria Ionova-Gribina, photographer, agency Grinberg, Lecturer School of Visual Arts 
Aleksandr Vilf, RIA Novosti photojournalist 
Maks Avdeev, freelance photographer 
Anton Zhdanov, photographer 
Aleks Myakishev , freelance photographer 
Nikita Evdokimov, a freelance photographer, teacher of the School of Visual Arts 
Anton Tushin photographer 
Artem Zhitenev, photo RIA Novosti 
Vitaly Bezrukikh, Bild editor Rossiiskaya gazeta
Aleksandr Podgorchuk, photographer 
Mikail Gokhman, a freelance journalist 
Aleks Konstantinov, a photographer 
Tatiana Plotnikov, photographer (St. Petersburg) 
Artur Bondar, a freelance photographer 
Valery Melnikov, photo RIA Novosti 
Yulia Vertyachye running, photo editor, Sitibum 
Sergei Savostjanov, photographer of Rossiiskaya gazeta 
Maks Novikov, photo site 
Galina Velichko, photo editor 
Vika Bogorodskaya, Photo Editor The Village 
Grigory Sokolov, a photographer (Nizhny Novgorod) 
Vadim Bride, photographer (Ufa) 
Aleks Kudenko, RIA Novosti photojournalist 
Petr Huzangay, Microsoft Photo Editor 
Anna Ayvazyan, editor, Bolshoi Gorod 
Daniil Ivanov, photographer 
Ivan Safronov, correspondent, Kommersant 
Idar Buribaev, journalist 
Vasily Sonkin, editor, Sitibum 
Anton Alekseev, correspondent, Estonia TV broadcasting corporation (ERR) in Russian 
Maksim Kvasha, economics editor, Kommersant-Dengi 
Maria Makutina, 
Mila Dubrovin, journalist, freelance reporter, Snob 
Irina Gordienko, Novaya gazeta 
Konstantin Panyushkin, the correspondent of Russia 24 
Olga Harsika, photo editor 
Tatyana Felgenhauer, journalist, Echo of Moscow 
Irina Vorobyov, journalist, Echo of Moscow 
Anna Golubeva, 
Sergei Mikheyev, photographer 
Ilya Gutin, professor 
Mariana Torocheshnikova, court reporter, Radio Liberty 
Artem Kobzev, journalist 
Dmitry Lebedev, photo ID Kommersant 
Mikhail Mokrushin, photographer 
Olga Malysh, journalist 
Igor Rodin, photographer 
Olga Kuz'menkova, journalist 
Zhanna Ulyanova,, 
Anastasia Berseneva,, 
Farida Rustamov,, 
Maksim Solopov,, 
Aleks Krizhevsky,, 
Ivan Kolpakov,, 
Svetlana Reiter,, 
Pavel Borisov,, 
Kirill Melnikov, Kommersant 
Vyacheslav Kozlov, Kommersant 
Grigory Tumanov, Kommersant 
Polina Nikolskaya, Kommersant-Vlast 
Sergei Smirnov, Russkaya planeta 
Egor Pan, Russkaya planeta 
Pavel Nikulin, 
Russkaya planeta  
Dmitry Tkachev, 
Russkaya planeta 
Denis Rogulin, 
Russkaya planeta 
Pavel Pryanikov, 
Russkaya planeta 
Ilya Vasyunin, Dozhd 
Aleksandra Koshkina,, 
Aleksandr Artemyev,, 
Ilya Azar, 
Ilya Barabanov, Kommersant 
Stanislav Mudry, Yopolis 
Mikhail Fishman, the chief editor, Sitibum 
Roman Moguchy, editor of Kommersant FM 
Dmitry Kuchev, Chief Editor 
Yuri Kozyrev, photo agency Noor Images

The list of signatures is printed as at the time of going to press. Henceforth the collection of signatures under the appeal will continue on the Echo of Moscow website.

Photographer Denis Sinyakov worked for a long time with the news agencies Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the Kommersant publishing house. Sinyakov also worked as a freelance correspondent for, and he was covering events from the Arctic Sunrise at the request of this publication.

A number of Russian online media have also decided that on Friday, September 27, they will publish no photographic images in a mark of support for Sinyakov. Among the media organizations taking part in the action are,, Metro, Snob, and the websites of the TV channel Dozhd and the radio station Echo of Moscow.

There were a total of 30 people on board the Arctic Sunrise. Following the court hearing of 26 September at the Lenin district court in Murmansk, 22 of those on board were remanded in custody. Among those detained, in addition to Sinyakov, were three other Russians:4  the press spokesperson for Greenpeace Andrei Allakhverdov, the doctor Ekaterina Zaspa, and environmentalist Roman Dolgov. The remaining detainees are citizens of other countries. Eight others who were on board the Arctic Sunrise have been detained for a further 72 hours.