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MosNews, July 16, 2004

Journalist Watchdog Urges Putin to Investigate Klebnikov Murder

Paul Klebnikov / Frame from Rossia Channel

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued an open letter President Vladimir Putin, urging him to address what it called the climate of lawlessness and impunity that has led to the killings of more than a dozen journalists in Russia, most recently Forbes editor Paul Klebnikov.

The letter, published on the group's site, called on the president to do "everything in your power" to ensure a thorough and aggressive investigation into the slaying.

"This culture of impunity sends a shocking message to the world about your indifference to press freedom, and reassures those who use violence to silence their critics that they can literally get away with murder," Executive Director Ann Cooper said in her letter to Putin.

Klebnikov is the 15th journalist to be killed in Russia in connection with his work since 2000. No one has been brought to justice in any of the slayings, CPJ said, calling it a "shameful record" that endangers all journalists and undermines Russia's democracy.

"These and other cases have not been properly investigated or prosecuted, a testament to the ongoing lawlessness in Russia and your failure to reform the country's weak and politicized criminal justice system," the letter said.


See also:

Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

MosNews, July 16, 2004

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