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Investigative journalist brutally beaten in Russia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have strongly condemned the attack on journalist Sergey Reznik in the city of Rostov-on-Don, in south Russia.

Reznik, a well-known investigative journalist and blogger in Rostov region, was attacked and brutally beaten by two unknown assailants, near his house, on the evening of Tuesday, 22 October. He suffered serious injuries. According to the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ), Reznik is known for his critical reporting on the city's authorities and five criminal court cases have been opened against him.

The attack has occurred in the same week that the IFJ has launched a high profile new campaign to 'End Impunity' for violence against journalists in Russia, Iraq and Pakistan. According to IFJ reports, Russia has been among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists over the last two decades.

"We are deeply concerned about this attack on the well-known journalist Sergey Reznik," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "The IFJ yesterday [24 October] launched its campaign to 'End Impunity' for violence against journalists in Russia where it is estimated that at least 124 journalists and media workers have died in work related killings since 1991.

"We believe that the lack of accountability for acts of violence against Russian journalists reinforces the culture of impunity and is the main reason why Russian journalists remain in the firing line. We therefore urge Russian authorities to do everything in their power to bring Reznik's attackers to justice."

The IFJ and the RUJ have called on Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this case and bring those responsible to justice.

"The beating of journalists has sadly been a practice in many Russian regions for many years," said EFJ Vice President Nadezda Azhgikhina. "It is one of the worst forms of censorship, and it often ends with impunity.

"The RUJ, the Glasnost Defense Foundation and the Center for Legal Media Defense regularly demand urgent investigations of all cases. In April this year our colleague Mikhail Betetov, from Khimki, died because of the health issues that resulted from a severe beating he endured five years ago. We fully back the IFJ's 'End Impunity' campaign and support its call for investigations into beatings against journalists as well as killings."

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