International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for an independent
investigation into the death of Sergey Protazanov, a journalist with
Grazhdanskoye Soglasiyel newspaper, who died on 31 March, reportedly after
being beaten up.
to the editor-in-chief of Grazhdanskoye Soglasiye, Anatoliy Yurov, Sergey was
attacked two days earlier in the town of Khimki, near Moscow and died later of
his injuries. The attack was reported by the victim's wife to the police who
allegedly failed to record the incident, reports say.
is important that this tragic death is independently investigated and the
findings made public," said Aidan White,
IFJ General Secretary." Given the track record of Russian
authorities in previous investigations of journalists' murders, this will be a test
case for authorities to show transparency and professionalism if their claims
are to be believed by journalists and the public."
police authorities in Moscow
contest the family's account telling reporters that the journalist died of
poisoning and that "forensic experts have ruled out a violent death".
is such a contradiction here that an investigation is needed," said White.
"When police claims fail to produce irrefutable evidence foul play cannot be
IFJ criticised the Russian justice
system for failing to prosecute the killers of Anna Politkovskaya, noting that
"a combination of shameful incompetence and official complacency have failed to
deliver justice to the Polikovskaya family and to her colleagues".
This followed the acquittal in February of three men charged with her murder.
death of Anastasia Baburova, a journalist for the investigative newspaper
Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper of Anna
Politkovskaya, who was killed in January remains unresolved.
For further information contact IFJ on +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 123 countries worldwide