IFJ Condemns “Brutal Killing” of Journalist in Russia

The International Federation of Journalists today called on Russian authorities to investigate fully the “brutal killing” of a local television journalist in Moscow.

On 18 July, Alikhan Guliyev, who worked for Russia's TVTs channel, was gunned down at the entrance to his Moscow apartment building. Last year, Guliyev had filed a complaint against Khamzad Gutseriyev, a candidate in race for the presidency of the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia. Subsequent to a Russian Supreme Court ruling, Gutseriyev was disqualified shortly before the April 2002 vote.

“This is an intolerable incident that underscores the crisis facing journalists in Russia in recent years,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “When journalists die like this, a democratic media culture has no chance of developing.”

In March 2002, an attempt was made on Guliyev's life shortly before the Ingushetia election, when reports said that he was working for the main regional television and radio company. Guliyev also specialized in reports on the North Caucasus region, including war-torn Chechnya.

Since the beginning of 2002, 12 journalists have been killed in Russia, several of them thought to be assassinated in contract killings due to the political implications of their work. The IFJ is backing its affiliate, the Journalists’ Union of Russia, many of whose members are working in dangerous conditions.

“When political groups try to manipulate the work of journalists through threats and assassinations, they compromise democracy, and pave the way to chaos and corruption,” said White.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries