CPJ condemns attack on Kommersant reporter

November 6, 2010 3:20 PM ET

APNew York, November 6, 2010--The Russian government must act immediately to arrest the assailants responsible for a brutal attack today on a reporter for the Moscow daily Kommersant. The brazen assault, which left Oleg Kashin, left, so badly injured he was placed in an induced coma, is a product in part of the government's failure to combat anti-press crimes, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. Simon's statement follows: 

"We are outraged by the attack on Kommersant reporter Oleg Kashin. While it is important that President Medvedev has called for the perpetrators to be 'found and punished,' we also believe that the government itself has considerable responsibility," CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. "By failing to prosecute those who have carried out crimes against journalists in the past - including 19 murders committed in the Putin era - the Russian government has created a climate of impunity. Government statements and expressions of sympathy are simply not sufficient. Arrests, prosecutions and convictions are what are urgently needed."

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