As many as 8,000 people turned out in Moscow and St. Petersburg Sunday to protest Russia’s contested parliamentary election results. Demonstrators and independent observers claim the government of Prime Minister Vladamir Putin won the contest through cheating. Meanwhile, the founder of a Russian newspaper devoted to uncovering government corruption was found shot to death last week. Hadzhimurad Kamalov was shot 14 times as he left his office on Thursday. According to the International Press Institute, 40 Russian journalists have been killed since 2000, including at least four this year. Tanya Lokshina is the office deputy director of Human Rights Watch in Moscow.
Tanya Lokshina, office deputy director of Human Rights Watch, Moscow: “The North Caucasus is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. And in past few years, many independent journalists, citizens and activists have died, died as payback for their work in the North Caucasus. And therefore, everything that’s happened, everything that happened with Kamalov, it’s on one side a horrible shock, but on the other side, it was almost even expected.”