On July 9th, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was shot dead in his car, just 50 meters from his home in Russian’s North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan.
On July 9th, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was shot dead in his car, just 50 meters from his home in Russian’s North Caucasian Republic of Dagestan. Mr. Akhmednabiyev was deputy editor and chief political correspondent for the local weekly magazine Novoe delo, as well as a regular contributor to the independent news portal Caucasian Knot.
North Caucasus, and in particular Dagestan, is one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists: 17 had been murdered there since 1993. Mr. Akhmednabiyev, who also covered government misconduct, corruption, abductions, arbitrary detentions and torture of local citizens, had received numerous threats. His name appeared on a “death list” published in September 2009 by someone claiming to be “Relatives of Policemen killed in Dagestan,” who cynically accused human rights defenders, journalists, and civil society activists of supporting so-called Islamist insurgents and terrorists. In January, Mr. Akhmednabiyev escaped an attempt on his life when four shots were fired at his car.
Khadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the Chernovik local newspaper, whose name also appeared on this list, was similarly gunned down in Dagestan in 2011.
“The United States is deeply concerned about violent attacks against journalists in the Russian Federation, particularly those representing independent media outlets,” said United States Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ambassador Ian Kelly. “We agree completely with [OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja] Mijatovic’s statement that, “Despite pledges at the highest level, too many cases of killings of journalists remain unsolved, which has an enormous chilling effect on the media community.”
We call on the Russian Government, and on local authorities in Dagestan, to thoroughly investigate the murders of Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, Khadzhimurad Kamalov, and all those journalists who were targeted and killed for performing their jobs. Their assassins must be found and held accountable for their crimes, demonstrating that lawlessness and impunity will not be tolerated.