December 17, 2018

Press Freedom

Russian Federation

OPC Expresses Outrage at the Murder of Khadzhimurad Kamalov

H.E. Dmitri Medvedev
President
Russian Federation
Fax: (011.7.495) 206.6277/ 5173

H.E. Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister
Russian Federation
Fax:  (011.7.495) 206.4622, 205.4219

Your Excellencies:

We write to add the Overseas Press Club of America to the many outraged voices denouncing the murder of Khadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the independent weekly, Chernovik, in Makhachkala.

Ironically, the date of Kamalov’s killing was a day designated as a memorial tribute to the many journalists who have been killed in Russia because of their work in the past 20 years.

Kamalov, one of the best known and most courageous journalists in the Caucasus region, was shot 14 times by a masked assailant as he stepped through the door of Chernovik’s offices just before midnight on December 15.  He made many enemies by exposing official corruption, enforced disappearances and abuse by police and soldiers.  His name was on an anonymously circulated list of journalists and human rights activists designated “accomplices of the rebels” and targeted for killing “to avenge the death of policemen.”

We are gratified that the local authorities swiftly began an investigation of Kamalov’s murder, proceeding on a presumption that Kamalov’s murder was connected to his work.  Bearing in mind the impunity that so many killers of journalists have enjoyed, we urge the central government to take a hand in the investigation — and also to pursue the unsolved murder on May 8, also in Dagestan, of Yakhya Magomedov, a reporter for the Russian Islamic newspaper, Al-Salam.

We join our colleagues at the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders in warning that these killings undermine freedom and blacken Russia’s reputation.

Respectfully yours,
Larry Martz                                                                                                    
Kevin McDermott
Freedom of the Press Committee

cc:

H.E. Dmitri Medvedev
President
The Kremlin
Moscow
Russian Federation
Fax: (011.7.495) 206.6277/ 5173

H.E. Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister
Government Offices
2 Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya
Moscow
Russian Federation
Fax:  (011.7.495) 206.4622, 205.4219

H.E. Sergey V. Lavrov
Foreign Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Moscow 121200
Russian Federation
Fax: (011.7.495) 244.3448

H.E. Sergey I. Kislyak
Ambassador of Russia to the U.S.A.
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20007
Fax:  (202) 298.5735

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin
Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
136 East 67th Street
New York, NY  10021
Fax: (212) 628.0252

H.E. John Beyrle
U.S. Ambassador to Russia
Embassy of the United States of America
8 Bolshoy Devyatinskiy
Pereulok
Moscow  121099
Russia
Fax:  (011.7.495) 728.5090

Andrey Vitalyevich Vasilyev
Editor-in-Chief
Kommersant Daily
4 Vrubelya Street
Moscow, Russia
kommersant@kommersant.ru

Aleksey K. Simonov
President
Glasnost Defense Foundation
4 Zubovskiy Boulevard, # 432
Moscow  119021
Russia
Fax: (011.7.495) 637.4947

Andrew McChesney
Editor-in-Chief
The Moscow Times
Ul. Polkovaya, 3, build. 1
Moscow  127018
Russia
mcchesney@imedia.ru

Maria Otero
Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C.  20520