For Immediate Release
28 March 1996
(212) 465-1004 x101
Russian Television Reporter Slain in Tajikistan
29th Journalist Murdered in Four Years
U.S Journalists Call for Immediate InvestigationNew York--The Committee to Protect Journalists urged the government of Tajikistan to conduct a prompt and vigorous investigation into todays murder in Dushanbe of Victor Nikulin, a correspondent for Russian state television (ORT).
More journalists have been killed in Tajikistan in the past four years -- Nikulins death today brings the number to 29 -- than in any other republic of the former Soviet bloc, according to figures compiled by CPJ.
At the same time, CPJ faxed a letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, requesting that Russian authorities press their counterparts in Tajikistan for an official report about the murder and any subsequent investigations.
Tajikistan is wholly dependent on Russian economic and military support, and Moscow should send a clear message to Dushanbe that murderous attacks on their correspondents will not be tolerated, said William A. Orme, Jr., CPJs executive director. We are requesting that the Yeltsin government join us in asking Tajik authorities to guarantee the safety of all correspondents in Tajikistan and to ensure that thorough investigations into these killings proceed immediately.
Nikulin was shot and killed in his office in Dushanbe this afternoon at 4:20 p.m. News accounts indicate that he was shot twice after answering his office door. Last December the body of Mohyedin Alempour, a correspondent for the BBCs Persian-language-service, was found with a bullet wound in the head near the state university of Tajikistan. The last killing before Alempours took place in November 1994.
Tajik authorities have not solved any of the murders of journalists, and no information on the investigations has been disclosed despite CPJs repeated requests. For more information, call CPJs office in New York.
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