UNESCO head speaks out against murder of journalist in Russia

The head of the United Nations agency mandated with protecting press freedom today condemned the recent killing of a Dagestani journalist in Russia, calling on authorities to bring those behind the murder to justice. Malik Akhmedilov, a sub-editor for the local Avar-language newspaper Khakikat, was found dead on 11 August in Makhachkala, the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan. “Enabling journalists to carry out their work in reasonable conditions of safety and letting them contribute to public debate are two essential conditions to improve peace and stability in the Caucasus,” said Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Mr. Akhmedilov’s murder is the latest in a series of killings of journalists in Dagestan in recent years. Abdoullah Alichaïev, of the local television channel TV-Chirkei, was shot dead in September 2008, six months after the killing of his colleague Gadji Abachilov. Magomedzagid Varisov, a reporter for the weekly Novoye Delo, was killed in June 2005. 17 August 2009The head of the United Nations agency mandated with protecting press freedom today condemned the recent killing of a Dagestani journalist in Russia, calling on authorities to bring those behind the murder to justice.

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