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Russian Activists Call For Khimki Mayor's Dismissal

Moscow residents staged rally in support of Khimki activists and journalists in mid-November.
The Russian environmental group Ecodefense has called for the dismissal of several officials in a Moscow suburb because of unsolved attacks on journalists and activists, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

In a letter posted on Ecodefense's website on December 2, the group asks Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to "remove the regional prosecutor of Khimki, the mayor of Khimki, and the heads of the local office of the Interior Ministry and the local Federal Security Service (FSB)."

They cite attacks on several local journalists and environmental activists that have yet to be fully investigated, including the recent assault on activist Konstantin Fetisov, who is still in a coma after being attacked near his apartment on November 4.

Ecodefense officials said several hundred people have signed a petition backing the removal of the Khimki officials.

In the past few years, several journalists who wrote about the protests against the construction of the proposed Moscow-St. Petersburg highway through the Khimki forest have been attacked and beaten.

In one such attack in 2008, Mikhail Beketov, the former editor of a local paper, suffered brain damage and many broken bones and had several fingers amputated.

No perpetrators of the attacks have been arrested and Beketov's case has been closed by police.