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Journalist Assassinated In Daghestan

Police believe Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev's death is likely connected with his work as a journalist. His recent articles focused on the reasons behind the almost daily shootings and bombings in the region.
A journalist known for his criticism of local authorities has been shot dead in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Daghestan.

Daghestan's police spokeswoman said Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, a deputy editor at the "Novoye delo" weekly newspaper, was killed in his car early on July 9 by unknown attackers outside his home in the village of Semenger near the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala.

Daghestani police officials have said they believe Akhmednabiyev's assassination is likely connected with his work as a journalist. Akhmednabiyev's recent articles focused on the reasons behind the almost daily shootings and bombings in the region.

Akhmednabiyev survived an attempt on his life in January and had received numerous threats.

At a news conference after that assassination attempt, Akhmednabiyev harshly criticized Daghestan's security forces, accusing them of hypocrisy and failing to uphold the rule of law.

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev
Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev
"When militants break the law -- in a way they play according to their own rules -- they say, 'We will not obey your law.' So it is naive to demand that they respect the rules," Akhmednabiyev said.

"But it is a different situation when our law-enforcement personnel blatantly break the law. It is naive for them, who have the duty to defend the law as part of their job, to demand that other people respect the law."

Journalists Under Fire

Russia's Public Chamber, a state institution created in 2005 to analyze draft legislation and monitor the parliament's activities, issued a statement on July 9 condemning the journalist's killing and calling on law enforcement officials to closely follow every case in which a journalist is threatened.

The statement also said that Akhmednabiyev's murder "again proved that journalists in Russia are exposed to violence and unprotected."

Russia's volatile North Caucasus region has become one of the most dangerous places for journalists to work as it continues to experience violence linked to Islamic extremists and organized criminal groups.

In December, a popular television broadcaster in Kabardino-Balkaria, another Russian republic in the North Caucasus, Kazbek Gekkiyev, was shot dead in Nalchik.

The day after Gekkiyev was killed, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded local law enforcement bring the journalist's killer to justice.

A suspect in the killing of Gekkiyev as well as Agriculture University rector Boris Zherukov was shot dead in a special operation by security forces in January.

With reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and AP
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