Outspoken Russian journalist Khadzhimurad Kamalov was gunned down “in a hail of bullets” late Thursday night outside his office in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. The 46 year old was a prominent journalist and newsman and was the founder of Dagestan’s weekly newspaper Chernovik, known for its willingness to criticize officials and its work to uncover police abuse in the counterterrorism efforts in nearby Chechnya. Kamalov was known for his criticisms of and investigations into Dagestan’s Interior Ministry. In 2009, his name was on a circulated “assassination list.” His death is a huge blow to freedom of speech and the press, and the willingness of activists and journalists to speak out in Russia.
Chernovik’s editor, Biyakai Magomedov, who witnessed the murder, said “They deliberately killed him in front of the newspaper’s office to scare the staff.”
Author Yulia Latynina told Ekho Moskvy radio “Just as Politkovskaya’s death meant the loss of information about Chechnya, Kamalov’s death will mean that to a large extent we will stop to understand what’s going on in Dagestan. People will simply be scared to write anything.”
Read the stories at the AFP, Boston Globe and the Guardian.
[Photo: Sergei Rasulov/AP File]