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Man Handed Suspended Prison Sentence For Assaulting Journalist In Daghestan

A court in Russia's Daghestan region has found a man guilty of attacking a journalist and impeding the reporter's professional activities.

The lawyer for Patimat Makhmudova of the Russian-language news portal Caucasian Knot called the November 19 ruling the "first guilty verdict” in a journalist assault case in the North Caucasus.

A court in the regional capital, Makhachkala, earlier handed a suspended 18-month prison sentence to Karim Kasumov for assaulting Makhmudova and breaking her video camera.

Makhmudova's lawyer, Akhmed Elmurzayev, called the sentence too mild and said he will appeal it.

The incident occurred as Makhmudova was covering an antigovernment rally organized by Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny in June 2017.

Kasumov pleaded not guilty, claiming he was not aware that Makhmudova was a journalist.

However, witnesses testified during the trial that Makhmudova had told Kasumov that she was covering the rally as a journalist.

In the mostly Muslim-populated North Caucasus region, journalists and human rights activists, who try to cover social issues linked to organized crime, business turf wars, political disputes, and clan rivalry are often attacked and even sometimes killed.

Investigations of such attacks almost never reach the courts.

Based on reporting by Mediazona and Caucasian Knot