Alice Speri
Al Jazeera
January 28, 2014

Russian Sochi 2014 presentation at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Olympics
Russian Sochi 2014 presentation at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Olympics
Obstruction by government authorities has led to fear and self-censorship among Russian journalists and severely limited coverage of the upcoming Sochi Olympics, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) charged in a report released on Tuesday.

The group, which monitors press freedom worldwide, detailed a repressive climate for journalism in Sochi, where the Winter Games kick off in less than two weeks and where arrests, tapped phones and threats have led to a virtual media silence in Russia on many controversial Olympic-related issues.

The report detailed one case in which a correspondent for a major Russian news agency — who was not named — recently filed three stories from Sochi. One dealt with the arrest of journalist Nikolai Yarst, a case that many saw as politically motivated. A second story detailed malfunctions at a hastily built compound for residents displaced by Olympic construction. A third was about the bad weather headed for the city, where torrential rains have already flooded newly constructed roads.

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