Read more about press freedom conditions in Russia

New York, September 22, 2000 — Late last night, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reporter Iskandr Khatloni was attacked in his Moscow apartment by an unknown, axe-wielding assailant.

Khatloni was struck twice in the head, according to the Moscow bureau of RFE/RL. He then stumbled onto the street and collapsed, to be found later by a passerby. Khatloni died later that night in Moscow’s Botkin Hospital. Local police have opened a murder investigation.

Khatloni had worked since 1996 as a Moscow-based journalist for the Tajik service of the U.S.-funded RFE/RL, which beams daily news programming to Tajikistan.

A RFE/RL spokeswoman said Friday that at the time of his death, Khatloni was known to be working on stories about the Russian military’s human-rights abuses in Chechnya. The topic is controversial in Russia; earlier this year a senior official in Russia’s Media Ministry announced that RFE/RL was “hostile to our state.”

CPJ is very concerned about the death of Iskandr Khatloni. We are currently investigating the circumstances of his death to determine whether it was related to his journalistic work.