The use of violent force by police against journalists, including a Russian correspondent who was pepper-sprayed in the face, is unacceptable, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, urging the US to investigate the incident.

This comes after a RIA Novosti correspondent, Mikhail Turgiev, and a group of US journalists were attacked by police in Minneapolis while covering the ongoing riots provoked by the death of an African American man, George Floyd. The crew was targeted with rubber bullets and Turgiev was pepper-sprayed, despite showing his press ID.

Police attacks on media staff executing their professional duties are unacceptable, the ministry added, calling the law enforcers’ use of pepper spray on Turgiev “unjust cruelty.”

The ministry urged the US authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, reminding Washington of its obligation to ensure that journalists can carry out their activities on US soil in a manner that is safe and unhindered.

International organizations and human rights NGOs should also look into the attack on the Russian correspondent, it added.

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