#16 - JRL 2009-229 - JRL Home
Pundit names Russian regions most dangerous for journalists
December 15, 2009

Journalists working in Russia are running great risks and undergoing huge pressure in the republics of the North Caucasus, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, director of the centre for extreme journalism Oleg Panfilov told RIA Novosti on 15 December.

Since 1993 more than 50 contract murders of journalists related to their professional activities have been committed, Panfilov said. "None of these murders was investigated and criminals have not been punished," he added. The murders of journalists will not be stopped if a thorough investigation into these murders is not conducted while killers or contractors go unpunished, Panfilov said.

"Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabarda-Balkaria, all the republics of the North Caucasus" are most dangerous for journalists, Panfilov said. "Certainly there are areas where journalists have not been killed but they have a hard time working there, as there is pressure from the authorities. These (areas) are Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and regions in Russia's south," he added.

Panfilov said that there are regions where journalists are enjoying a considerable amount of freedom but refused to name the territories because the authorities will start thinking whether they are loyal enough, he said. "There are several regions in Siberia where journalists are enjoying more or less freedom. There are a couple of regions like this in the Urals and in central Russia," Panfilov said.

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