Around 200 people protested in Russia on Sunday against the latest string of attacks on journalists. Some 200 reporters have been killed or wounded in the past decade, most notably Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot to death in 2006.
AFP - Around 200 people protested in the centre of Moscow on Sunday to demand a halt to attacks on Russian journalists and activists after a string of assaults on reporters, an AFP correspondent said.
The demonstration remembered an attack two years ago on suburban Moscow journalist Mikhail Beketov which left him in a coma for several months and forced the amputation of a leg and fingers.
He had followed controversial plans to build a highway through Khimki forest outside Moscow. Journalist for Kommersant daily Oleg Kashin and activist Konstantin Fetisov, both severely beaten this month, had also covered the same issue.
"Searching for the truth is a path towards death," said a slogan on one of the banners at the demonstration.
"Do not lay a hand on journalists and activists," Yevgenia Chirikova, who has spearheaded the movement against the construction in the Khimki forest, told the rally.
A special-edition publication was distributed with a picture of Beketov on its front page and a list of all the journalists killed or wounded in Russia since 2000 -- some 200 in all, it claimed.
"People want debate and they aren't allowed to do so freely," the newspaper quoted former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev as saying.
Kashin's condition is improving after being brought out of an induced coma but Fetisov remains in a coma more than a week after his own beating, hospital officials have said.
Date created : 2010-11-15