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Flowers and a portrait of Pavel Sheremet mark the site of the journalist's murder in Kiev, July 20, 2016. (Sergei Chusavkov/AP)

Ukraine police see journalism as motive in Pavel Sheremet's murder

February 8, 2017 12:48 PM ET

New York, February 8, 2017--Ukrainian investigators' announcement today that they consider Pavel Sheremet's journalism as the most likely motive in his July 2016 murder is a welcome step toward bringing his killers to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told journalists in Kiev that police believe Sheremet, who wrote for the independent news website Ukrayinska Pravda, was killed in retaliation for his work.

"We hope that Ukrainian authorities' identification of Pavel Sheremet's journalism as the motive for his murder will swiftly lead them to his killers," said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. "Ukrainian officials should take this opportunity to show that journalists cannot be killed with impunity."

Avakov told journalists that police believe Sheremet's murderers were hired. Sheremet, 44, died in Kiev on July 20 after an explosive device detonated under the car he was driving.

CPJ honored Sheremet with its International Press Freedom Award in 1998.

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