MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian RT news channel has sent an open letter to major British media outlets calling them to end their silence on the detention of Graham Phillips, a UK freelance journalist working for RT in Ukraine.
Reports said Tuesday that the British journalist was detained by Kiev forces in the eastern city of Mariupol. He was reportedly interrogated about alleged spying activities. Phillips wrote on his Twitter account that Ukrainian radicals had placed a $10,000 bounty on his head.
In the letter, RT says that British media have ignored the reports of Philips’ detention as they have been recently covering in detail the difficult conditions for journalists working in Ukraine.
“How come that his detention and disappearance has been unnoticed by the British media? Is this because Philips cooperates with RT or is there another explanation for this surprise collective silence?” the letter says.
“There is a strong feeling as Russian media are more concerned about the fate of a British national than their counterparts and politicians in the United Kingdom, and this is a bad sign for the British journalism and its future,” RT said in the letter.
RT earlier asked for UK consular assistance in Ukraine and Russia and called on the UK Foreign Office to help clarify the circumstances of the British journalist’s detention and location.
Over the past two months, reporters of Russia’s leading channels have been kidnapped, beaten, threatened and denied access to Ukraine. Broadcasting of Russian media has also been banned across the country.