Freedom House Condemns Shooting of Independent Journalist in Dagestan
December 14, 2011
The murder of Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of Chernovik, a leading independent newspaper and long-time government critic in the Republic of Dagestan underscores the extremely perilous environment for journalists and others who speak out against the authorities, rule of law and corruption in the republic. Freedom House condemns the murder and calls for justice for those responsible for this heinous act.
According to reports, Kamalov was shot by a masked gunman while leaving the newspaper’s offices at around midnight Moscow time. The murder was apparently witnessed by a Chernovik employee; however the shooter has not yet been identified. Chernovik has long been known as a relentless critic on corruption, counter-terrorism methods in Dagestan and its employees have been targeted in the past. Russia remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Throughout Russia, media are unable to freely cover news on contentious topics such as human rights abuses in the North Caucasus, government corruption, organized crime, police torture, the activities of opposition parties, and the country’s economic crisis.