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IFJ/EFJ Condemn Murder of Journalist in Russia’s North Caucasus

10 July 2013

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have strongly condemned the murder of prominent journalist Akhmednabi Akmednabiyev in Dagestan, in Russia's North Caucasus, early yesterday morning, Tuesday 9 July.

According to media reports, Akmednabiyev was in his car, just 50 meters from his home, at 7am when the unknown attackers began shooting, killing him at the scene. The attackers then fled the scene in their car.

"We express our deep sadness following the murder of our colleague, the highly respected and prominent journalist Akhmednabi Akmednabiyev," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "This is the latest in several killings of journalists that have shaken the region over the past two years and shows the dangerous conditions that journalists there have to work in every day. We call on the authorities in the region to carry out an investigation to find the perpetrators of this horrific crime and bring the full weight of justice down upon them. Such crimes cannot go unpunished."

Media reports say that Akhmednabiyev, who was deputy chief editor of local weekly newspaper, Novoye Delo (New Business), had written articles criticising local authorities and insurgent groups. He is said to have received repeated death threats and in January of this year he survived an attempt on his life when attackers also fired shots at his car.

The killing comes just weeks after the IFJ and its Russian affiliate, the Russian Federation of Journalists (RUJ), completed a two week training of safety trainers course for journalists in Dagestan as part of our efforts to address the terrible threats that continue to plague journalists throughout this region. The training was supported by the Norwegian government and the European Commission.

The RUJ has expressed its deep sadness at the loss of a colleague and called for increased protection for journalists working in the region.

"The wave of violence against journalists in this region over the last two years is an attempt to terrorise those in the media and undermine freedom of expression," said EFJ Vice-President Nadezda Azhgikhina. "The authorities must take action to protect the safety of journalists, news owners in the region must take measures to protect their staff, and the journalists themselves need to ensure they remain vigilant."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries