‘Mediazona’ correspondent injured by police at St. Petersburg polling station
Police officers injured Mediazona correspondent David Frenkel at polling station No. 2219 in St. Petersburg, during voting in the ongoing plebiscite on constitutional amendments.
Frenkel reported that a police officer wearing the badge number 009175 had attempted to remove him from the polling station, stating that he believed the officer had broken his arm in the process. One of the observers at the polling station also stepped on the journalist’s leg, and then grabbed his injured arm.
“They twisted [my] arm and punched it. I am laying on the floor, because I can’t move my hand at all, my arm hurts terribly and my fingers barely move,” Frenkel said.
Frenkel was later diagnosed with a fracture.
Update: St. Petersburg’s police department later denied that Frenkel was “attacked,” stating that the polling site commissioner asked officers to remove the journalist for impeding the commission’s work. Department spokespeople say the officers took “legal measures” to remove him from the polling station.
Valentina Landyshko, the polling site commissioner at the station where Frenkel was injured, says the journalist “responded aggressively to a request to register in our logbook.” “When [police officers] tried to push him away from the tables where he was interfering with voters, he fell down and started screaming that he needed an ambulance,” Landyshko later told reporters.
State investigators are now reviewing the incident.