Media freedom alerts

 

Call for Review of the Trial Process which Led to the Conviction of Macedonian Journalist Tomislav Kezarovski

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Year 07 Apr 2015 Country "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
07 Apr 2015 "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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The Macedonian investigative journalist Tomislav Kezarovski was arrested in May 2013 for allegedly revealing the identity of a protected witness in an article published in 2008 in the magazine “Reporter 92”. Kezarovski's article allegedly revealed the identity of a protected witness, who later admitted to having testified against the defendants under duress. The witness had however not yet been given protection at the time the article was written and in 2013 admitted having given a false statement under pressure from the police. Kezarovski was sentenced in October 2013 to four and a half years in prison. Following international protests he was held under house arrest and returned home on 1 November 2013 after 172 days in detention. On 16 January 2015, the Skopje Court of Appeal reduced Kezarovski’s to two years but upheld his conviction. The EFJ and the IFJ sent a joint letter to Macedonian Prime Minister, Mr. Nicola Gruevski, demanding the review of Kezarovski’s trial process.

Justice Delayed and Denied to Former Editor Mikhail Beketov who Died of Illness Induced by Beating in Russia

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Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Russian Federation Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
02 Apr 2015 Russian Federation D. Impunity State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Mikhail Beketov, the former editor of the independent newspaper Khimkinskaya Pravda died of heart failure in a Moscow hospital on 8 April 2013 after choking on food. In November 2008, Beketov was the victim of a savage beating by unknown attackers who left him for dead out in the cold. He lost three fingers and part of his leg and suffered long term brain damage. The journalist had a breathing tube inserted in a life-saving surgery following the assault. However the operation also left scars that caused food to block the airflow to his lungs, eventually leading to heart failure. In 2012, he was awarded a journalism prize by Russian President Vladimir Putin who promised that his attackers would be found and prosecuted but, to date, no one has been arrested.

Dosh Investigative Journalist Timur Kuashev Murdered in Russian Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria Following Death Threats

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Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Russian Federation Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
02 Apr 2015 Russian Federation D. Impunity State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Timur Kuashev, the correspondent of Dosh, a magazine which covers mainly the Russian Caucasus went missing from his home on 31 July 2014 and his body was discovered the following day on 1 August in a suburb of Nalchik, the capital of the autonomous Kabardino-Balkar Republic, according to reports. Kuashev was known for his investigations into abuses by the security forces in the course of anti-terrorism operations. He had received threats for years and wrote about them in an open letter he published in April 2013, saying he was concerned for his life. The Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), an IFJ affiliate, said that the journalists had also reported death threats from users of the LiveJournal blog platform. Some were explicit, according to Reporters without Borders. “As a provocateur, aren’t you afraid of being swept away by the wave you create,” one wrote, suggesting that Kuashev was on a hit-list. “Don’t play with fire... reflect for once (...) on what you are doing and where it is leading you. That’s my advice.” Another wrote: “You will die at an astonishingly young age.”

Veteran Journalist Nikolai Potapov Gunned down in Selsovet, Russia

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Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Russian Federation Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
02 Apr 2015 Russian Federation D. Impunity State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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Nikolai Potapov, the 66-year old founder and editor of the Selsovet (Village Council) newspaper, was gunned down in the Stavropol region on 18 May 2013. Local media reports said the newspaper exposed alleged corruption by local authorities, particularly with respect to land deals in which officials were accused of transferring state property to criminal gangs in neighbouring Caucasus regions. Sources also said that the newspaper’s uncompromising stance was the most likely motive for Potapov’s killing. Authorities took suspects into custody shortly after the crime and in mid-August they said they had identified the mastermind behind the killing, but they did not release that person’s name, according to the international Press Institute (IPI).

Independent Journalist, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, Shot Dead in Dagestan, Russia

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Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Russian Federation Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
02 Apr 2015 Russian Federation D. Impunity State EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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The deputy editor of the independent daily Novoye Delo and a correspondent of the Kavkazskiy Uzel news website, Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was gunned down as he was leaving his home in Semender, a suburb of Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala, on 9 July 2013. According to media reports, Akmednabiyev was in his car, just 50 meters from his home, when the unknown attackers began shooting, killing him at the scene. The attackers then fled the scene in their car. There was no shortage of warning signs. In 2009, his name was on a hit-list circulating in Makhachkala that accused several independent journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers of colluding with Dagestan’s armed Islamists and threatened them with death to avenge the murders of policemen. One of these journalists was gunned down in December 2011. Known for covering human rights violations, corruption and the persecution of religious minorities, Akhmednabiyev had received many other threats and had narrowly escaped a murder attempt on 11 January 2013, when four shots fired in his direction only just missed him. Nonetheless, he was not given any protection after this shooting, which the prosecutor’s office did not even treat as a murder attempt. The investigation into the journalist's murder was closed a year later, on 30 July 2014, without any arrests. The appeals against its closure and the requests for the case to be transferred to the Russian federal authorities had no effect. It was only as a result of international pressure, that the decision to close the investigation was rescinded on 16 September 2014. This is an indispensable first step, but everything remains to be done.

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Factsheet on detention with a view to expel, return, transfer or extradite a person to another country