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Journalist beaten after photographing demolished house

(GDF/IFEX) - Magomed Khanmagomedov, a special correspondent for the weekly "Chernovik", was beaten in Derbent, Republic of Dagestan, on 2 May 2011. He was taking pictures of a demolished house when two unknown men attacked and beat him. The journalist reported the attack to the police, but they did not take the suspects into custody.

"At 11 a.m. I received a phone call on my cell phone telling me that an old house was being pulled down in Lenin Street in Derbent," Khanmagomedov told a GDF correspondent. "This was the so-called Karchagkhan House, built in the 'Russian art nouveau' style, the caller said, asking me to go take pictures of this outrageous action. When I arrived, I found that the house had already been destroyed. I had just taken a couple of pictures when a sturdy thug came up to me, brandishing an iron bar, and started asking why I was using my camera there. I showed him my ID, which only made the man angrier. He started insulting me, and that's when another man ran up to punch me in the chest and then in the face without saying a word. They then pushed me onto the ground and proceeded to kick away at me, telling me they would also visit me at home later. They were only stopped by some passers-by. I drove to a hospital where I received first aid. The medics certified me as having bruises and light contusions.

"I then drove to the police station to report the incident and tell them that I was able to recognize the attackers. Police major Malik Sadykov went along with me to the crime scene. I pointed out the assailants. He got out of the car and talked to them for a while. He said they did not deny they had beaten me and even promised to break my legs. I asked the major why he hadn't detained them, and he said everything was O.K. and they would be summoned for questioning the following day."

Khanmagomedov said he was concerned for the safety of his family because the police had failed to give him due protection and had not detained the attackers, despite the threats.

According to Major Sadykov, the police took all the necessary preventive measures. They questioned the victim and ordered a medical examination to determine the degree of bodily damage he had received. Once all the evidence is gathered, they will decide on whether or not to institute criminal proceedings, the major explained. He also interrogated the attackers - Ramazan Magomedov and Radzhab Shabanov - and had them pledge in writing to come in for questioning when summoned.

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