Monday, November 8, 2010

Journalist Beating Pressures Kremlin

Wall Street Journal
November 8, 2010

Media groups from inside and outside Russia called on the Kremlin to investigate the brutal attack early Saturday on a prominent reporter from the Kommersant daily newspaper, the latest in string of beatings and murders of journalists in recent years.

Dozens of reporters and others gathered outside police headquarters in Moscow Sunday afternoon, signing a petition to be delivered to President Dmitry Medvedev demanding protection for journalists—of whom it said eight have been murdered and 40 injured so far this year. Dozens of demonstrators also gathered in St. Petersburg over the weekend.

Though attacks on the media have become so commonplace that Russia ranks as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a reporter, according to international media groups, Saturday's assault on Oleg Kashin struck a chord in the Russian media. Mr. Kashin, 30 years old, is a prominent political reporter and columnist at one of Russia's largest national newspapers, not the war correspondents or investigative reporters who are often the victims of attacks.