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Freelance journalist reported missing

(GDF/IFEX) - Yekaterina Silina, a freelance correspondent for the REX news agency, has been reported missing.

Silina was last seen near the School of Journalism at Moscow State University late on 13 January 2011. The young reporter knew she was in danger; she had told as much to her family shortly before her disappearance. The REX agency cites one of Silina's acquaintances as saying that "if someone starts telling us she moved to another place, she asked us not to believe that and immediately report to the police."

According to REX, Silina wrote about new Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin's initiatives, the work of the Moscow municipal government and problems facing the agro-industrial industry. She was also in charge of scanning government officials' web blogs for details about their performance. She contributed reports to several newspapers, although she is only 16 years old, and attended courses to prepare entrance exams for the School of Journalism at Moscow State University.

The police have started a criminal investigation.

In connection with Silina's disappearance, the Glasnost Defence Foundation has made public a statement calling attention to the problem of impunity for the perpetrators of crimes against journalists, and expressing the hope that the authorities will be able to determine what happened to the young reporter.

The case has been placed under the authority of Vladimir Vassilyev, head of the Duma State Security Committee, who personally asked the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, to ensure that Silina's case is comprehensively investigated within the shortest possible time.

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