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U.S. Condemns Murder of Journalist in Daghestan

Daghestan - Journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was killed July 9, 2013.
Daghestan - Journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was killed July 9, 2013.
The United States Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has released a statement officially condemning the July 9 murder of Daghestani journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev. Akhmednabiyev was well-known for his criticism of local authorities as deputy editor of the weekly newspaper “Novoye delo.”

“The United States remains deeply concerned about violent attacks against journalists in the Russian Federation, particularly those representing independent media outlets,” said Ambassador Ian Kelly. “We believe the murder of Mr. Akhmednabiyev once again clearly demonstrates the need for the OSCE to strengthen protections for journalists in our region.”

Akhmednabiyev was shot dead in his car just outside his home in the village of Semenger, a short distance from the Daghestani capital Makhachkala. He had survived a previous attempt on his life in January, after which he attended a news conference where he harshly criticised Daghestan’s security forces. He has also received numerous death threats.

According to Daghestani police officials, it is likely that Akhmednabiyev's assassination is connected with his work as a journalist. His most recent articles focus on uncovering the reasons behind the shootings and bombings that are a near daily occurrence in the region.

As the regions continues to deal with violence from both Islamic extremists and organized crime groups, Russia’s North Caucasus has become one of the most dangerous places for journalists in the world, and the killings of many journalists remain unsolved.

--Arash Shinwary