Russian Newspaper Editor Shot Dead

Wednesday, May 1, 2002
TORONTO, May 1 - Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) expressed shock and anger today at the assassination in Russia of journalist Valery Ivanov. He is the 21st journalist slain this year. "We call on Russian authorities to do all in their power to bring the killer to justice," CJFE Executive Director Joel Ruimy said. "We note Russia has become one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists." Ivanov, editor of the regional newspaper Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye in the southern Russian city of Togliatti, was gunned down at point-blank range outside his home Monday night. Colleagues say that a single assailant walked up to Ivanov as he was getting into his car and fired eight shots. The attacker fled on foot. Ivanov's colleagues believe the crime was connected to his work. Tolyatinskoye Obozreniye is well known for its reports on local organized crime, drug trafficking, and official corruption. Ivanov also served as a deputy in the local Legislative Assembly. Police have opened a criminal investigation and are considering several possible motives for the murder. "As the international press freedom community is preparing to mark World Press Freedom Day on Friday, May 3, news of Valery Ivanov's brutal murder comes as a shock - and a reminder of the price that media professionals pay to do their job," Ruimy said. Ivanov is the latest victim in what has so far been a deadly year for journalists. In Russia alone, he is the fourth to have been killed in 2002. Around the world, CJFE research shows that 21 journalists have been killed -- at least 16 of them directly because of their work. CJFE is an association of journalists, writers, editors, publishers and others who work to promote and defend free expression in Canada and around the world. For further information, please contact Joel Ruimy at CJFE, tel. 416 515 9622, fax 416 515 7879, email: cjfe@cjfe.org.

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