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The Russian Democratic Party "YABLOKO"

On the murder of journalist Paul Khlebnikov

July 12, 2004
The Russian Democratic Party "YABLOKO" expresses its condolences to the family and friends of journalist Paul Khlebnikov who was murdered by contract killers in Moscow.

We demand a rapid and effective investigation of this crime by the authorities and that its executors and people behind the attack be found and punished.

True professional journalists such as Paul Khlebnikov, regardless of their citizenship, represent our civil society. Their work allows Russian citizens to learn the truth about developments in the country, obtain an objective evaluation of people and events and draw their own conclusions, instead of having them imposed in different forms of propaganda.

Work in Russia has always been difficult and dangerous for such journalists. Recently, however, the danger does not come only from criminals and corrupt officials. Journalists are exposed to impudent pressure by the authorities. In circumstances where the publication of an article in the press about corruption in the top echelons of power receives no proper response and where the independent mass media and journalists are actually treated as enemies of the state, criminals feel more and more free to take actions against journalists that will go unpunished.

This practice should be brought to an end. Otherwise all conversations on the prospects for democracy in Russia, the opportunities for qualitative growth of the Russian economy, a favorable investment climate and the welfare of most citizens in the country are pointless.

We are counting on honest professionals in the Russian law and enforcement agencies, who consider their work not to be a fight against political opponents of the authorities, but rather the need to get to the truth and protect the interests of society. The discovery and punishment of the people behind the murder of Paul Khlebnikov certainly represent such a task.

Chairman of YABLOKO party

Grigory Yavlinsky

See also:

Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

July 12, 2004

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