DUBLIN, 7 December 2012 – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, expressed her concern today over the death of television reporter Kazbek Gekkiyev, who was murdered in the Russian southern republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.
“I deeply regret another loss of life of a journalist. Just a week ago, I reported to the OSCE participating States that fortunately no journalist had been killed in our region this year. This news has proven me wrong,” Mijatović said in Dublin where she is participating in the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.
Gekkiyev was a reporter with the regional branch of the national VGTRK broadcaster. He was shot on 5 December in Nalchik while returning home from work.
“I welcome the swift reaction of the Russian authorities to condemn this crime at the highest level and to immediately dispatch a team of investigators to probe Gekkiyev’s murder, which they have said was linked to his journalistic activities,” Mijatović said.
“I hope that the investigation will bring those responsible for this horrible crime to justice. I also hope that the Russian authorities will pursue their investigation of the murder of Khadzhimurad Kamalov, the founder of the Chernovik newspaper, who was killed in the nearby republic of Dagestan almost a year ago,” she said.
“Much more needs to be done to guarantee the safety of journalists across the OSCE region, and to ensure that justice is served to the many professionals who have lost their lives while simply doing their job by reporting the sometimes inconvenient truth,” Mijatović stressed.