Saturday, July 11, 2009



A leading editor who reported on corruption in southwestern Russia
succumbed to head injuries he suffered in an attack in April, report the
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Vyacheslav Yaroshenko, editor-in-chief of the independent Rostov-on-Don
newspaper "Korruptsiya i Prestupnost" (Corruption and Crime), was found
unconscious with a head wound in the entrance of his apartment building on
30 April. He was hospitalised with skull and brain trauma, underwent
surgery, and spent five days in a coma, his deputy, Sergei Sleptsov, told
CPJ at the time.

On 29 June, Yaroshenko was operated on again, but did not survive.

According to CPJ, Sleptsov said he believes Yaroshenko was attacked in
retaliation for his newspaper's work. In the weeks before the incident,
"Korruptsiya i Prestupnost" had reported on corruption allegations
involving Rostov law enforcement agencies. "I don't have even the smallest
doubt," Sleptsov told the opposition news website Kasparov. "Our newspaper
was published on eight pages; seven of them were allotted to corruption in
the law enforcement structures."

Rostov law enforcement officials have given conflicting accounts of what
happened to Yaroshenko in April, first saying that he was injured in a
street fight, then later that he hurt himself by falling down the stairs in
his apartment building. According to Sleptsov, they had immediately ruled
out criminality.

Sleptsov said that the paper is carrying out its own investigation into the
editor's death.

Russia is the third deadliest country in the world for journalists and the
ninth worst in solving reporters' killings, according to CPJ. In a 25 June
letter, CPJ urged U.S. President Barack Obama to address the pressing issue
of impunity in violent crimes against the press when he meets with Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow this week.

Meanwhile, Russia's Supreme Court has overturned the acquittals of three
men accused of involvement in the October 2006 murder of reporter Anna
Politkovskaya, allegedly because of procedural violations during the trial,
reports CPJ.

Related stories on
- Independent editor dies in hospital:
- Obama should address Russian impunity in upcoming summit, says CPJ
- Supreme Court orders retrial in Politkovskaya murder:

More on the web:
- Shock at death of newspaper editor who was badly beaten two months ago

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