Founder of Corruption-Exposing Russian Paper Killed

A prominent Russian journalist was shot dead Friday outside the offices of the newspaper he founded, known for its investigative reporting on government corruption and extra-legal security enforcement in Russia's restive North Caucasus region. Khadzhimurad Kamalov was shot eight times by a masked gunman in a provincial capital, police said, in what the Committee to Protect Journalists said amounted to an assassination. For years the Islamist uprising in Chechnya has spread throughout other states in Russia's largely Muslim North Caucasus, and Kamalov's newspaper Chernovik ("Rough Draft") reported critically on government and police forces, seen by human rights activists to be fueling the insurgency by arbitrarily arresting and torturing suspects. Chernovik had recently been recognized by the CPJ for its reporting, for which its editors faced criminal charges several years ago of which they were acquitted this year. Russia is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, with 19 unsolved murders since 2000.

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