Russian journo interrogated by US authorities over COVID-19 vaccine shot

Updated: 18 October, 2020 13:15 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

A few hours after his interview with mid-day, Konstantin Rozkhov was stopped by US federal agents at a New York airport, and questioned over publicly available information about him receiving Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V

Konstantin Rozhkov
Konstantin Rozhkov

RT documentarian Konstantin Rozhkov was stopped by US federal agents at a New York airport soon after arriving in the country on Wednesday, where he was subjected to a three-hour interrogation and forced to provide access to his electronics.

"The journalist was requested to open all electronic media, as well as explain publicly available information, including about him receiving the Russian-made vaccine, Sputnik V," the embassy said in a statement, adding that Rozhkov was also questioned about his "correspondence related to journalistic activities."

Rozhkov travelled to the country to report on the 2020 presidential race, like other journalists, correspondents and filmmakers from news organizations around the globe. The journalist said that soon after landing in New York, he was "asked to go to a private room," where security personnel "immediately took my passport, phone and laptop. They said to unlock my iPhone so they could view its content."

Also read: Russian Journalist Shares All You Need To Know About The Controversial Sputnik V, Which Could Soon Be In India

The journalist was also asked why he was "going to film protests during the presidential election," summarising his answer: "Because this is what's happening in America right now, and it's being filmed by journalists from all over the world."

Rozhkov was later released when US authorities could not find anything conclusive, with his belongings, returned.

The Russian Embassy in the US has now demanded an apology. Their statement read: "The interrogation of a Russian media employee clearly went beyond the usual public safety procedures. We regard the incident as a crude attempt of the American authorities to put pressure on a representative of the press, which provides an opportunity for the audience to see views alternative to those prevailing in the United States. We will demand appropriate explanations from the U.S. Department of State."

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First Published: 18 October, 2020 12:31 IST

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