Russiske myndigheter sørget for at to av Russlands fremste reportere aldri kom frem til Beslan i tide. Andrei Babitskij ble trakssert og arrestert for bråkmakeri på flyplassen. Anna Politovskaja kom seg på et fly, men ble forgiftet i lufta, så kraftig at hun ble bevisstløs og måtte på sykehus.
Det er helt utrolige historier. Vladimir Putins sikkerhetstjenester greier ikke hindre tungt bevæpnede terrorister å ta seg inn i Beslan, men de greier å hindre to journalister i å dekke dramaet. Politovskaja skulle dessuten ha deltatt i forhandlinger med gisseltakerne, ifølge meldinger, slik hun gjorde i Dubrovka.
Radio Liberty reporter Andrei Babitsky was detained Thursday at Vnukovo Airport and prevented from flying to Mineralniye Vody while police, who said they suspected him of carrying explosives, searched his bags.
After no explosives were found, Babitsky was released, but two men approached him and started provoking him. All three men were detained, and Babitsky was charged with «hooliganism.» He was sentenced Friday to five days in jail.
In a separate incident Thursday, Anna Politkovskaya, who covers Chechnya for Novaya Gazeta, fell ill on her way to Beslan and had to be hospitalized. Her editor said she was poisoned.
Politkovskaya was flying from Vnukovo Airport to Rostov-on-Don and fainted on the plane. Immediately after landing, she was taken to a local hospital, where doctors found she had been poisoned, Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov told the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
Muratov said Politkovskaya had not eaten anything that day and she felt sick after drinking tea on the plane. He did not speculate on who might have poisoned her. Politkovskaya is now recovering in a Moscow clinic.
Norske PEN og Norsk Journalistforbund burde protestere – kraftig.