Dagestan newspaper founder shot dead

 

The founder of a newspaper critical of authorities in the province of Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus has died after he was gunned down outside his office, police said today.

Khadzhimurad Kamalov's leading independent weekly paper Chernovik (Rough Draft) has reported extensively on police abuses in the fight against an Islamist insurgency that originated in neighbouring Chechnya and has spread across the region. 

Kamalov founded the weekly in 2003, worked as its editor for several years and remained its publisher until his killing late yesterday. He was 46. 

Vyacheslav Gasanov, a spokesman for the Russian Interior Minister in Dagestan, said a masked gunman shot Kamalov outside the office in the provincial capital, Makhachkala. Kamalov died of his wounds at a local hospital shortly after. 

Biyakai Magomedov — the editor of Chernovik, who witnessed the attack — said on Russia's NTV television that Kamalov fell on the pavement as he was struck by the first round, and then covered his head with hands when the assailant approached to finish him off. 

"They deliberately killed him in front of the newspaper's office to scare the staff," Magomedov said. 

Chechen rebels have fought two separatist wars against Russian forces since 1994. Major battles in the second war subsided about a decade ago, but the Islamist insurgency has engulfed neighbouring provinces, stoked by poverty and corruption. Rights activists accuse security services of fueling the violence with arbitrary arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings of militant suspects. 

Dagestan, the largest and most ethnically diverse of Russia's mostly Muslim provinces in the North Caucasus, has evolved into the main breeding ground for terror, with near daily attacks on police and other authorities. 

Kavkazsky Uzel (Caucasian Knot), a leading online news resource on the region, said Kamalov's name figured on a list of militants and their "accomplices" that has been released since 2009 by anonymous authors vowing to avenge the dead police and security officers. 

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists granted Chernovik's editor Nadira Isayeva its 2010 International Press Freedom award. CPJ hailed the paper's relentless reporting on the heavy-handed tactics of security agencies in the fight against Islamic militancy. It said Isayeva and the newspaper were regularly harassed with official summonses, financial audits and state-commissioned "linguistic analyses" that label content as extremist. 

In 2008, authorities brought a criminal case against Isayeva and several other Chernovik journalists under anti-extremist legislation after she published an interview with a former guerrilla leader. A court acquitted them earlier this year. 

"The corrupt structures have been afraid of us," Chernovik editor Magomedov said Friday. "They couldn't defeat us in courts, because we won practically all the cases." 

International media watchdogs have ranked Russia among the world's most dangerous countries for reporters. Most attacks on journalists have remained unsolved, including the 2006 slaying of Anna Politkovskaya, who exposed atrocities against civilians by Chechnya's Moscow-backed authorities. 

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant / Credit Controller

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable