Chernovik

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Chernovik founder Gadzhimurad Kamalov was killed in December 2011. Investigators have failed to determine the identities of the assailants or the masterminds. (Reuters/Lekai Dmitri)

Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the independent daily Chernovik, was murdered in Makhachkala, capital of Russia's southern republic of Dagestan, on December 15, 2011. The slaying was brazen, coming on the national Day of Remembrance for journalists killed in the course of their work. The late-evening assault took place outside Chernovik's newsroom, located on Makhachkala's Magomed Gadzhiev Street. Equipped with numerous security cameras, the street is a throughway for government motorcades, including that of the regional president. Nobody moves undetected there. But Kamalov's slaying is yet to be solved.

Nadira Isayeva (AP/Sergei Rasulov)

Nadira Isayeva, a 2010 CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner, has been living in exile since she left her native Dagestan, in Russia's volatile North Caucasus, in November 2011. Isayeva, the editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Chernovik, had been harassed by security forces for her relentless, critical coverage of their heavy-handed anti-terrorism operations in the region. Yet she was hesitant to leave, unable to imagine herself not reporting on these issues.

After fellow human rights advocates finally convinced Isayeva to leave, she came to New York, where she works as a fellow at Columbia University's Harriman Institute. (The interview has been edited).

Journalist Gadzhimurad Kamalov was shot to death late Thursday night by a masked assailant. (AP)
New York, December 16, 2011--Russian authorities must carry out an urgent and effective investigation into Thursday night's assassination of Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the independent weekly Chernovik, which had tackled highly sensitive topics in the southern republic of Dagestan, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

New York, December 15, 2011--Today's murder of Gadzhimurad Kamalov, founder of the independent newspaper Chernovik in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan today is a lethal blow to press freedom, said the Committee to Protect Journalists.

New York, May 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's court ruling in the southern republic of Dagestan, which acquitted Editor Nadira Isayeva and four reporters with the Makhachkala-based independent weekly Chernovik of long-standing, politicized extremism charges

New York, May 5, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on local police to investigate a Monday attack on Magomed Khanmagomedov, a southern Dagestan correspondent for the Makhachkala-based independent weekly Chernovik.

New York, March 10, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern today at the continued criminal prosecution of five journalists with the Dagestani independent weekly Chernovik.

Top Developments
• International community intensifies pressure to halt impunity.
• Authorities restart investigations into Klebnikov, Politkovskaya murders.

Key Statistic
19: Journalists murdered in retaliation for their work since 2000. Murder convictions have been won in one case.

After a deadly decade for the press, the tone set by the Kremlin appeared to have changed. President Dmitry Medvedev said in July that justice in journalist murders is important “to honor the people who died while defending our legal system, defending regular people, and to educate an entire new generation of citizens.” International attention intensified, too, as the European Parliament, top U.S. officials, and the U.N. Human Rights Committee condemned ongoing and unpunished attacks on journalists.

New York, June 17, 2009--Authorities in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan should immediately halt efforts to shut the Makhachkala-based independent weekly Chernovik and should drop extremism charges against editor Nadira Isayeva and four reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

New York, August 28, 2008--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan to end their month-long offensive against the opposition weekly Chernovik (Rough Draft) in the regional capital, Makhachkala.

Investigators with the local prosecutor's office and officers with the Criminal Investigation (UR) department of Dagestan's Interior Ministry searched the homes of six Chernovik journalists on Tuesday, seizing a computer, books, and electronic files, in an attempt to find signs of extremism, the paper's editor-in-chief, Nadira Isayeva, told CPJ.

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