Russia reopens beaten journalist’s case

(Note: This blog was originally published on 11/11/2010 as a part of a class project for Emerson College’s New and Society class.)

New York Times: Moscow Journalists Under Attack

The Moscow Times is reporting that an investigative committee has decided to reopen an investigation into the 2008 attack of journalist Mikhail Beketov.

Beketov, the former editor of the opposition newspaper The Khimkinskaya Pravda, was severely beaten outside of his home in Khimki for reporting on political corruption and the Khimki forest, his supporters say.

The beating resulted in Beketov’s leg being amputated. He suffered permanent brain damage, lost his ability to speak, lost three fingers and now uses a wheelchair. No one has been charged with his beating.

News agencies are reporting that the Russian government has yet to explain why it has reopened the two-year old case.

The announcement does come on the heels of the beating of another reporter, Oleg Kashin. Kashin’s beating, which occurred outside of his home, was caught on tape.

President Dmitry Medvedev recently came up fire from international press organizations to do more to secure the safety of journalists. Medvedev said Kashin’s attackers should be punished.

Kashin, who remains hospitalize, is no longer unconscious, but Beketov’s life seemed to get  a bit grimmer Wednesday.

A Russian court convicted him of defaming Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko.

The court ordered him to pay $160 (US) fine, but then said he didn’t have to pay it because of a technicality.

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