Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another Russian journalist bites the dust

bart jumps out a window
Originally uploaded by bartbart.
I don't think I'd want to be a Russian journalist these days... Here about the journalist who "jumped" to his death recently?

From Luke Harding in The Guardian:
A senior Russian journalist who embarrassed the country's military establishment with a series of exclusive stories has been found dead outside his flat in mysterious circumstances. The body of Ivan Safronov, 51-year-old defence correspondent for the newspaper Kommersant, was discovered on Friday. He apparently fell from a fifth-floor window.
Prosecutors indicated he jumped.

Right. Jumped.
"For some reason, it is those journalists who are disliked by the authorities who die in this country," the mass-selling daily Moskovsky Komsomolets observed yesterday. "Ivan Safronov was one of those. He knew a lot about the real situation in the army and the defence industries, and he reported it."
I guess "jumping" is more like suicide than taking multiple bullets to the head.
Russia is among the most dangerous countries for journalists, especially those who seek to expose official corruption or other abuses. The problem was highlighted last October by the killing of Anna Politkovskaya, whose exposés of human rights abuses in Chechnya irritated the Kremlin. Her murder remains unsolved.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in January that 13 Russian journalists had been murdered in contract-style killings since 2000, making the country the third deadliest state for journalists, after Iraq and Algeria, in the past 15 years.
But I'm sure Mr. Safronov jumped; I mean, come on, the authorities tell us so.

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