Press release

Russia: Newspaper publisher killed in Dagestan on journalist remembrance day

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ARTICLE 19

16 Dec 2011

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Just before midnight on 15 December – coincidentally national day for remembering killed Russian journalists -  the founder of the independent weekly newspaper Chernovik, Khadimurad Kamalov, was shot dead in Makhachkala in the Republic of Dagestan.

“We express our sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of Khadimurad, who was a courageous and passionate newspaper publisher,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, while in Moscow for the Remembrance event.  

“That his murder should have occurred on remembrance day is a tragic and poignant reminder of the violence faced by journalists every day in all regions of Russia. “

Khadimurad was a respected journalist and civil society activist, well-known for speaking out against human rights violations in the region.  The newspaper Chernovik which was founded by Khadimurad is one of the only independent newspapers in the republic and reports on corruption and violations of human rights by law enforcement officials in the region.   

Khadimurad’s death followed years of threats as well as legal and police harassment against the newspaper and its staff, including Kamalov.  It occurred on the national day for remembering killed Russian journalists an annual observance organised by the Russian Union of Journalists each 15 December.  An ARTICLE 19 delegation from Mexico and London attended this year’s remembrance day observance in Moscow.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Russian authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure that Khadimurad’s murder does not become another example of the environment of impunity that characterises attacks on journalists in Dagestan and Russia in general.