Russian journalists under attack

By Angelica Jimenez–

Just three weeks ago, we learned first-hand of the risks Russian journalists faced.

The door-step beating of journalist Oleg Kashin on Sunday, The Guardian reported, made this danger much more real.  Kashin, 30, was walking home to his apartment in central Moscow when two men beat him “methodically with an iron bar for 90 seconds, leaving him with a fractured skull, broken fingers, a broken leg and a smashed jaw.”  Some suspect the assault was fueled by revenge for Kashin’s writing about Kremlin-backed youth groups.

Unless there is significant reform, the chances Kashin will find justice is slim.  Another reporter, Anatoly Adamchuk, was also allegedly beaten over the weekend near Moscow.

When reporting the incident to the police. Adamchuk said the cops pressured him to confess that he staged his own attack hiring a kickboxing enthusiast to hit him.  A stunned Adamchuk responded, “maybe they think I smashed my own face against a tree or something.”

And after Mikhail Beketov, the editor-in-chief of Khimkinskaya Pravda, was attacked in 2008 after his newspaper supported a campaign to save a forest in Khimki, he was beaten so badly he lost his leg.  And his justice?  The victim, Beketov, was convicted of defaming a government official linked to the attack, and the assailants have not been found or charged.

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