Thursday 30 September 2010

Russian pledge on unsolved murders of journalists

Russian investigators have pledged to pursue 19 cases of murdered journalists presented to them by a delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists, reopening several closed cases and pursuing new leads in a number of other probes.

The CPJ delegation, led by board member Kati Marton and CPJ chairman Paul Steiger, met on Tuesday with Aleksandr Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee, and a dozen investigators probing individual cases. "It's a matter of honour for us to solve these murders," Bastryskin told the CPJ delegation. "It's a matter of proving our professionalism."

According to the CPJ: "The Investigative Committee, responsible for probing the most serious crimes in Russia, has been given greater autonomy under a plan announced this week that has the agency reporting directly to President Dmitry Medvedev."

Marton said: "We were encouraged by our three-hour-long meeting with the Investigative Committee and the thorough, detailed briefing we received. Investigators reported progress in a number of cases. Of course, we will not be satisfied until we see prosecutions and convictions."

  • The CPJ estimates that 52 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992.

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