06:53 GMT +324 October 2018
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    Russians oppose safety privileges for journalists - poll

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    The majority of Russians (73 percent) oppose proposed amendments to the Russian law granting journalists special protection, according to a poll conducted by the Superjob.ru recruitment portal.

    The majority of Russians (73 percent) oppose proposed amendments to the Russian law granting journalists special protection, according to a poll conducted by the Superjob.ru recruitment portal.

    The proposal was put forward by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev following a brutal attack on Oleg Kashin, a journalist for the Kommersant daily, on Saturday.

    Kashin was put in an induced coma after being severely beaten by unidentified assailants near his home in Moscow. He is suffering from severe head and leg injuries and only regained consciousness earlier on Thursday.

    About a quarter of Russians (27 percent) supported Medvedev's initiative, but the rest said that doctors, teachers, servicemen, children and pensioners also deserve better protection from potential attackers.

    A total of 1800 people aged 18 and over took part in the poll, conducted on Thursday.

    "First we need to comply with the existing laws, then journalists will feel much safer," said Alexander Arkhangelsky, a TV journalist and writer who opposes the amendments.

    Following the attack on Kashin, a bill was introduced to the Russian parliament proposing the introduction of harsher punishments for those who attack journalists, including life-sentences.

    Russia has one of the poorest journalist safety records in the world. With at least 35 journalists murdered between 2000 and 2009, the International Press Institute places Russia fifth in its ranking of countries most dangerous for journalists, after Iraq, the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico.

    MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti)

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