Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Russia - Republic of Bashkiria24 July 2002

Editor of only opposition newspaper killed in suspicious accident

The editor of the sole opposition paper in the small Russian republic of Bashkiria died on 20 July from serious injuries received when his car crashed into a lorry. Firat Valeyev, who edited Vechernu Neftekamsk, had often had threats and his colleagues suspected a contract killing.

The paper, published outside the republic for the past seven years, had often printed articles sharply criticising Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov and denouncing government corruption.

"We fear that no serious investigation will be made into this suspicious accident in Bashkiria," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to Russian general prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov.

"Threats to journalists have reached an unprecedented level in the Russian regions," he said. "In some republics, the authorities use violence to silence opposition journalists with complete impunity and local courts often protect those responsible."

"So we ask you to take up the cases of killings and suspect accidents involving journalists and with which local officials are thought to be connected. The security of regional journalists is too serious a threat to Russian democracy for you not give the matter your priority," Ménard said.

Ustinov asked regional prosecutors on 12 July to crack down on violations of press freedom by regional and local authorities.

  In this country
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
1 May - Russia
Newspaper editor in coma after latest case of violence against journalists
10 April - Russia
Prosecutors say Novaya Gazeta journalist’s mysterious death was not murder
1er April - Russia
Local newspaper reporter dies two days after beating, human rights activist attacked outside Moscow home
16 March - Russia
Official issued Politkovskaya killer with fake passport

in the annual report
Russia - Annual Report 2008
Russia - Annual report 2007
Russia - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives