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CUSIB Condemns Radio Liberty Firing in Russia

Says it supports the station’s dozens of fired journalists and demands inquiry

The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting said in a statement this week that they were “standing in solidarity” with activist Lyudmila Alexeeva, chairwoman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, who called for expansion of the Radio Liberty bureau in Moscow after dozens of human rights journalists were fired last week.

CUSIB, a group that describes itself as “a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that works to strengthen the flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries with restricted and developing media environments,” said in the statement sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that they condemned “RFE/RL executives for engineering a mass firing of Radio Liberty journalists precisely at the time when the Kremlin bans RL broadcasts in Moscow,” according to a press release.

The Moscow Times reported that Radio Liberty will “stop AM broadcasts on Nov. 10, when a law will take effect that makes it illegal for stations more than 48% foreign-owned to be on the airwaves.” That would affect broadcasts originating inside Russia.

The station has been broadcasting since 1953 and opened a Moscow bureau after the fall of the Soviet government.

Recently the Washington Post reported that USAID had also been ordered by the Russian government to cut its operations in Russia.

“Russia is a country where opposition leaders feel that the U.S. administration does not care much about violations of human rights,” CUSIB’s statement continued.

CUSIB’s letter was sent to Clinton as well as the U.S. Congress and specifically to Sen. Benjamin Cardin, co-chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, AKA the U.S. Helsinki Commission.