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More than 300 journalists killed in Russia since 1993, says joint report

The murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in October 2006 shocked the world. "Yet for every Anna, there have been many less widely known journalists killed for their work across Russia," says the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in a groundbreaking report on the 313 Russian journalists killed since 1993.

"Partial Justice" and an accompanying database present a comprehensive record of the murders, "whether taking place in cross-fire in conflict zones, or homicides and contract killings; whether journalists were killed for their work or in unexplained accidents, or even for personal dealings."

The IFJ review, done in collaboration with the Russian Union of Journalists, the Glasnost Defence Foundation and the Centre for Journalism in Extreme Situations, shows that of the journalists killed in Russia since 1993, up to 124 have died as a direct result of their work.

The report also reveals that the total impunity that existed for killers of journalists until 1997 has gradually receded, and that an increasing number of investigations have led to prosecutions and a form of "partial justice."

Unfortunately, in some parts of the country there have been no prosecutions for journalists' murders, in particular the North Caucasus (including Chechnya) and St. Petersburg. IFJ further notes, "Those who ordered the killings and arranged for the hiring of assassins and their payment have hardly ever been charged, let alone prosecuted."

Throughout, the report raises relentlessly two major questions: Why did this journalist or media worker die? And if a crime was committed, what have the authorities done about it?


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