The International Federation of Journalists today condemned the kidnapping of Agence France Presse journalist Ali Astamirov and called on the Russian authorities to investigate the case.
On 4 July, Chechen journalist Ali Astamirov was accosted by three armed men, two of whom were wearing masks, in the town of Nazran in Ingushetia. The unknown individuals threatened him with a gun and bundled him into a white car without a license plate, according to an eyewitness report.
The IFJ claims that this is one of the most dangerous regions in the world for journalists. Since 1994, twenty-five journalists have been killed while covering the conflict in Chechnya and numerous journalists have been kidnapped. On 6 July, the Prosecutor's Office in Nazran announced it had launched an investigation.
Astamirov has worked for AFP for more than a year, covering Ingushetia and Chechnya. He had received several anonymous threatening phone calls in recent months.
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The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries