Two years ago this month, Paul Klebnikov, then editor of Forbes Russia magazine, was gunned down outside his Moscow office. The perpetrators of this heinous crime remain at large.
In a statement marking the second anniversary of Mr. Klebnikov's murder, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called on the Russian government to make the case a high priority and prosecute those responsible for the crime. The U.S. remains prepared to assist Russian authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
In May, two of those charged with the murder of Mr. Klebnikov were acquitted by a Russian jury. Prosecutors have asked the Russian Supreme Court to throw out the verdict and order a new trial. The Klebnikov family supports the appeal and filed one of its own on May 15th. Anne Cooper, Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, wrote, "The Klebnikov case is closely watched throughout the world, and its disposition sends an important signal about Russia's international standing."
Russia can be a dangerous country for journalists. A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists says twelve reporters have been killed in Russia in work-related and contract-style killings. No one has been brought to justice in eleven of the twelve cases. It is time for the Russian government to demonstrate a renewed commitment to media freedom and democracy.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "The intimidation and murder of journalists is an affront to all who value democratic values and must not be tolerated."
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