New York, July 8, 2009--Following an assault last week on the
editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Dvornik
in the western city of
On Thursday, an unidentified assailant wearing a hooded jacket attacked Aleksei Shabunin with a heavy metal rod on the head while he was heading home on a bicycle at around 7 p.m., the editor told CPJ. He said the attacker approached Shabunin on an empty road, hit him in the head, and fled the scene.
The journalist and his colleagues at Dvornik told CPJ they believe the attack is related to his journalism. The critical weekly covers corruption cases in the local government and law enforcement agencies, and has been at odds with regional authorities.
According to local news reports, Shabunin was treated at a hospital the same day and tried to report the incident to the Baltiyski district police department immediately, but an officer in charge would not accept his statement, saying he was off duty for dinner. Police opened a probe only after the local press covered the attack, Russian news Web site Gazeta reported. Shabunin said he did not receive any threats before the attack.
"We're deeply disturbed by the
initial reaction of the
The staff of Dvornik has been at odds with regional authorities and faced
attacks and harassment before. In June,