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Russia12 August 2005

Polish journalist beaten up in Moscow

(JPEG) Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the beating up of Pawel Reszka, the Moscow correspondent of the Polish daily paper Rzeczpospolita, in a street underpass near his office and called on interior minister Rashid Nurgaliev to find and punish the thugs responsible.

"Current tensions between Poland and Russia cannot justify such attacks on Polish journalists," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Reszka was accosted by a group of four or five men when he went out to buy cigarettes on 11 August. He was thrown to the ground and severely beaten. The thugs then fled and the journalist was taken to hospital with serious injuries to his face, head and back and bruises all over his body.

Reszka recently wrote several articles about attacks by thugs on two employees of the Polish embassy in Moscow on 5 and 7 August. The day he was attacked, he had asked in Rzeczpospolita: "Who’s next?"

The recent incidents in Moscow come after young thugs in Warsaw attacked three children of Russian diplomats there on 31 July. The Polish government condemned the attack but did not make a formal diplomatic apology to Russia.

After the Moscow attack on Reszka, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure the safety of Poles living in Russia.

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