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Russian Journalist Dies After Beating in Police Custody

Society & Culture  (tags: police, murdered, man, rape, beaten, crime, sadness )

- 3343 days ago -
Russia's police force was today at the centre of another national scandal after a journalist beaten in custody died in hospital from his injuries


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Shari G (27)
Wednesday January 27, 2010, 12:27 pm
I guess reformation is badly needed in Russia's police force. Unfortunately this situation is not unique to Russia and is wide spread throughout the world. Thanks Terry

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday January 27, 2010, 6:23 pm
When will this end! Between contract killings/political murders of Russian journalists & human rights activists (probably instigated by the govt) & this police brutality ending in death, human & free press rights have been in serious jeopardy in Russia for some time.

From Reuters, GENEVA, Oct 15, 2009 :
"Russia in U.N. rights dock for journalist murders: * U.N. experts grill Russia on Politkovskaya, other murders
*Ask about independence of judges, Chechnya abductions --
Russia was grilled on Thursday by U.N. human rights experts over murders of journalists and activists, the independence of its judiciary and abductions during counter-terrorism campaigns in Chechnya.

"The physical danger to people who speak out on human rights in Russia is still striking," said Ruth Wedgwood, an American expert on the U.N. panel. "People who are either journalists or human rights activists seem to have a very high mortality rate."

Wedgwood, an international law professor at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., cited the unsolved murder cases of Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya, her Novaya Gazeta newspaper colleague Anastasia Baburova, Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova.

Politkovskaya, a 48-year-old mother of two, was relentless in investigating & denouncing Russian motives, tactics & brutality in the wars against Chechnya, as well as the disappearances of Chechens & Russian soldiers. She was shot entering her Moscow home on Oct. 7, 2006. Her family [has consistently voiced] doubts about the guilt of two men accused of playing a role in her killing and about the Kremlin's will to catch the main suspects.
Committee members also voiced concerns at the effectiveness of criminal investigations in Russia."

From ReportersWithoutBorders, Jan 20, 2010:
"More than 1,000 people took part in yesterday’s rally in Moscow in homage to young journalist Anastasia Baburova and human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov on the first anniversary of their murder. (Baburova and Markelov were gunned down in broad daylight on a central Moscow street after a news conference at which Markelov had condemned the early release of Yuri Budanov, an army colonel who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2003 for strangling a young Chechen woman.)
Witnesses said more than 50 demonstrators were arrested (in contradiction of the police figure).

Young anti-fascist activists, representatives of human rights NGOs, and, above all, ordinary citizens made up the unusually large crowd that defied freezing temperatures and marched with photos of Baburova and Markelov, and other murdered journalists and activists such as Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova.

The victims of the past few months have also included anti-fascist activists Feodor Filatov and Ivan Khutorskoy, Memorial representative in Grozny Natalia Estemirova, Zarema Sadulayeva of the Chechen NGO “Save Our Generation” and her husband, and head of Ingush opposition Maksharip Aushev. The victims of the dozens of murders and hundreds of racist attacks that have taken place in Russian, including Sergei Nikolayev and Bair Sambuyev, must also be added to this list.
(the whole story @

Also from Reporters Without Borders, Published on 4 December 2009:
Reporters Without Borders is calling for a thorough investigation into the death of Olga Kotovskaya, a prominent journalist who apparently fell from the 14th floor of a building in the centre of Kaliningrad (the capital of a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania) six days after a court ruled that she had been unfairly stripped of the TV station she had created. Her family and colleagues and the Kaliningrad Union of Journalists all insist that it is impossible that this combative journalist, brilliant businesswoman and mother of two could have committed suicide just after winning a major legal battle. “No one in Kaliningrad believes that she killed herself,” said Novyie Kolessa editor Igor Rudnikov.
Kotovskaya’s death recalls that of Ivan Safronov, a talented journalist employed by the newspaper Kommersant, who died in March 2007 after falling from the fifth floor of his Moscow apartment building. The police said it was suicide. (

I think this issue and these people, as well as the work they were doing, are important enough to deserve at least a little digging & exploration, not being dismissed with a 'it happens in a lot of places.' I've read that Russia is the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists, certainly being 'beaten' only by Iraq & Afghanistan.

catherine g (120)
Wednesday January 27, 2010, 11:26 pm
a police force with low-caliber officers, and 70% of russians don't trust the police? is that because they're turning to crime to make a living or is it because the police are really bad? sounds like the police have a lot of housekeeping to perform ~

. (0)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 1:16 am
Now, I've heard it all. The Russian officer beat to death another man who drank too much, because of the officer's personal indiscretions with two separate woman...This is the excuse he comes up with for losing it and taking a life?

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Linda M (0)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 2:38 am
such an abuse of power. how sad.

Past Member (0)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 3:09 am
It just goes to show, that even in a cold climate where justice is seen to be tight, the police can still rise above the law and take it into their own hands. To become judge and jury with not much if any diplomacy.

Anna M (18)
Thursday January 28, 2010, 10:25 am
this is what happens when citizens close their eyes to what is happening around them, and do nothing to stop it.
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