Dagestani journalist's death investigated

Dec. 16, 2011 at 8:37 AM

MOSCOW, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The "professional activities" of Dagestani journalist Khadzhimurad Kamalov, killed near his weekly newspaper, could be a reason for his death, police said.

Kamalov was shot and killed in Makhachkala Thursday near the offices of his newspaper in the Russian republic, ITAR-Tass reported Friday. He died en route to a hospital.

An official of the Dagestan Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee said a criminal case is open and a key issue is "the journalist's professional activities."

Kamalov, 46, was director-general of the Freedom of Speech Co. and founder and organizer of the Chernovik, a political weekly publication. Kamalov had written many articles critical of authorities and the Dagestani government and had done investigative reporting on the disappearance of people in the republic.

In September 2009, Kamalov was included on "death lists," in which anonymous authors threatened to "destroy bandits and take revenge for the police officers and civilians," ITAR-Tass said. The newspaper has been subjected to legal proceedings and efforts to close it.

Information from the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists indicated more than 70 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992, RIA Novosti reported. The organization said 52 were killed as reprisals for their work.

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