Journalists Killed  |  Russia

Abdulmalik Akhmedilov

Hakikat and Sogratl

August 11, 2009, in Makhachkala , Russia


At least one assailant shot Akhmedilov, 32, in his car on the outskirts of the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala, at around 1 p.m. The editor died at the scene, the independent Caucasus news Web site Kavkazsky Uzel reported.

Akhmedilov, known as Malik, was deputy editor of the Makhachkala-based daily Hakikat (The Truth) and a chief editor of the political monthly Sogratl, named after his native village. Both are published in Avar, the language of the largest ethnic group in the volatile, multiethnic southern republic of Dagestan.

Zulfiya Gadzhiyeva, a Hakikat colleague, told CPJ that the editor sharply criticized federal and local officials for suppressing religious and political dissent under the guise of an “anti-extremism” campaign. In Sogratl, Akhmedilov called on regional authorities to investigate the 2008 police killing of a Sogratl resident whom law enforcement agents said was a guerrilla fighter. The journalist was also known for his investigative reporting into the recent assassinations of Dagestani officials, the Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Gadzhiyeva, who visited the crime scene and met with Akhmedilov’s wife and neighbors, said witnesses saw at least one killer in a parked Lada sedan with tinted windows and no license plates in the editor’s neighborhood. When the journalist left in his car for an errand, the Lada followed and at least one gunman fired, she told CPJ.

Akhmedilov’s neighbors said they had seen the same Lada parked in the neighborhood for at least two days prior to the killing, Gadzhiyeva told CPJ. Akhmedilov did not report receiving any threats, she said.

The Dagestan Investigative Committee, the region’s top investigative office, opened a probe into the murder, the agency reported on its Web site. News reports said investigators initially focused on the journalist’s private life rather than his journalism.

Medium: Print

Job: Editor

Beats Covered: Politics

Gender: Male

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Murder

Suspected Source of Fire: Unknown Fire

Impunity: Yes

Taken Captive: No

Tortured: No

Threatened: No

Related Articles:

Previous Journalist, 2009 »

Previous Journalist, Russia »