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UNESCO Chief Condemns Murder of Russian Journalist

UNESCO Chief Condemns Murder of Russian Journalist

New York, Aug 4 2006 1:00PM

For the second time in as many days, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has condemned the killing of a journalist, this time a Russian investigative reporter.

Yevgeny Gerasimenko, a correspondent for the independent weekly Saratovsky Rasklad, was found dead in his apartment in the southeastern Russian city of Saratov on 26 July. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Gerasimenko’s colleagues believe his death may be connected to his investigation of a local corporate takeover.

Mr. Gerasimenko was found with a plastic bag over his head and multiple bruises on his body, the CPJ said. Police reported no signs of violent entry in the apartment, but local reports said the reporter’s computer was missing.

“I am deeply concerned about this murder and trust that the authorities will spare no effort in finding the culprits of this heinous crime against democracy and rule of law,” said UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.

At least 12 journalists have been killed in the Russian Federation since 2000, according to the CPJ.

“It is important for the whole of society that the fundamental human right of freedom of expression be respected and that such crimes do not go unpunished,” said Mr. Matsuura, who just yesterday condemned the killing of 73-year-old Ajuricaba Monassa de Paula, a freelance journalist and longtime municipal government critic who was beaten to death in Brazil late last month.


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