Russian war correspondent discovers journalism is more dangerous at home
In this New York Times article we learn of the fate of Mikhail Beketov who dared to investigate corruption in Moscow. Beketov, a former army officer, had reported from both Afghanistan and Chechnya but Russia proved to be more dangerous.
As his paper, Khimkinskaya Pravda, wrote about the dealings of local officials and questioned party policy on a range of issues, so the pressure on his life increased. After his car was blown up, the New York Times says Beketov was brutally assaulted:
"…he was savagely beaten outside his home and left to bleed in the snow. His fingers were bashed, and three later had to be amputated, as if his assailants had sought to make sure that he would never write another word. He lost a leg. Now 52, he is in a wheelchair, his brain so damaged that he cannot utter a simple sentence."
To say Russia doesn’t have a particularly positive record on media freedom is an understatement.
According to Reporters Without Borders five journalists were killed in Russia in 2009, the murder of Anna Politkovskaya remains unsolved, and other journalists have faced libel suits and physical intimidation.
The organisation describes the country as "one of the world’s most dangerous countries for independent journalists".