Telman (Abdulla) Alishayev

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Two unidentified assassins killed Alishayev, host of the program "Peace to Your Home," which was broadcast by TV-Chirkei in Makhachkala, the regional capital of the southern Russian republic of Dagestan. The assailants shot Alishayev as he waited at a traffic signal while driving home from a local mosque about 8 p.m., local press reports said. He sustained head and shoulder wounds and died in a hospital the next morning, the news agency Interfax reported.

In 2006, Alishayev was the main producer of a documentary titled "Ordinary Wahhabism," which criticized the conservative Sunni Islam sect and its recent spread in Dagestan. According to the independent Moscow business daily Kommersant, Alishayev received threats shortly after the film was released, and one radical Islamist group included his name in a "death list" published on its Web site.

In his most recent programs, Alishayev promoted educational reform and lobbied for gender separation in Dagestan's schools, local press reports said. Alishayev also advocated for the introduction of religious education in high schools. Although addressing social issues, most of Alishayev's work was on religion, CPJ sources in the region said.

Arsen Akhmedov, a spokesman for the Dagestan prosecutor's office, told the news agency RIA Novosti that prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation into the murder and had preliminarily identified a suspect.

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