Monday, July 19, 2004

 

Armenian Journalist Murdered in Russia

From the Guardian:
Pail Peloyan, the editor of the magazine Armenian Lane, was found on the hard shoulder of Moscow's large ring road with severe head injuries and knife wounds to the chest on Saturday morning.

Klebnikov's killing highlights the intense risks that journalists face on a daily basis in Russia. Fifteen have been killed since 2000, although Klebnikov was the first westerner.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the murder and the Kremlin for the "climate of lawlessness and impunity" that permitted the killing to be ordered and carried out. It views Russia as one of the 10 most dangerous places for journalists to work.
State control of information in Russia has been consolidated not only through Putin's strongarming of media outlets but also through his refusal to offer a reasonable amount of protection to journalists. It's a shame to think that Russia would be one of the most dangerous ten nations in the world for journalists. I wish there were a concerted effort on behalf of the US government to pressure Putin. A free press is a cornerstone of successful democratic values, and this does not only apply to the Middle East! If it was as bad in Egypt as it is in Russia for the press, you'd bet your life that there would be noise from the White House on it. Instead, there is virtual silence.

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