The village of Semender, Makhachkala, Dagestan. Photo by Magomed Magomedov (Yusupov),

15 January 2013, 02:39

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev, correspondent of the "Caucasian Knot", attacked

The attempt on the correspondent of the "Caucasian Knot" Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev and measures to protect journalists in extreme situations were discussed on January 14 in Makhachkala by mass media professionals, activists of public organizations and top officials of Dagestan at a press conference dedicated to journalists' safety.

The attempt on Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev was undertaken near his house in the village of Semender on January 11 at 9:30 p.m. Moscow time. Unidentified attackers made four shots at the correspondent of the "Caucasian Knot". Fortunately, the journalist was not hurt.

The press conference dedicated to safety of journalists was supported by the Russian Union of Journalists, the Union of Journalists of Dagestan and the Internet-based mass medium "Caucasian Knot". Akhmednabiev was also present.

You won't be able to remain calm and think that people would ever forget about such actions

Grigory Shvedov, Editor-in-Chief of the "Caucasian Knot", said in his speech that during twelve years of its work the "Caucasian Knot" had never published any pre-paid materials; and that the editors of the edition and he personally are responsible for every publication.

Those who organized and committed the attempt on Akhmednabiev should not hope that such actions could pass unnoticed, Mr Shvedov has stated.

"You won't be able to remain calm and think that people would ever forget about such actions. Even it you get outside Russia, you shouldn't hope to live in peace there and think that the 'Caucasian Knot' would ignore such acts against our colleagues. We perceive any journalist working for the 'Caucasian Knot' as a member of our family. I see such acts as mу personal challenge," said the Editor-in-Chief of the "Caucasian Knot".

The attempt on the journalist of the "Caucasian Knot" will entail an inevitable requital, Mr Shvedov has added.

"The 'Caucasian Knot' is not a bandit grouping; and we are not going to respond with the same methods as used by the customers and performers of such crimes. But they should understand that whoever the criminal is – the head of the district or some 'werewolf in epaulets', the response for such crimes is inevitable. Maybe, it'll take years, but we'll never forget the actions committed by performers and customers of such crimes. The 'Caucasian Knot' is a rather large family, quite capable to spend years for finding the culprits and putting them in jail. We work honestly and feel responsible for our people who suffer from such attacks," said the Editor-in-Chief of the "Caucasian Knot".

Alik Abdulgamidov, a journalist, asked Grigory Shvedov whether his words meant that the "Caucasian Knot" had some information that the head of some district was the customer of the attempt, and some law enforcers were direct executors.

"I can't say that we have a particular version, but if we take the publications of the "Caucasian Knot", we can feel from where the wind blows. Both variants are possible; and it's not too difficult to solve the puzzle," Mr Shvedov said.

Just because of differences in views to be happy that a person was attacked – is, at least, non-ethical

Nariman Gadjiev, the Minister for Information Policy and Mass Communications of the Republic of Dagestan, said that in such situations there is no difference for him whether the journalist works for the state-owned mass media or is "oppositional".

"I was extremely surprised with the reaction of certain colleagues to the incident in social networks, who expressed an open joy about the fact that their colleague was shelled. Just because of differences in views to be happy that a person was attacked – is, at least, non-ethical. I personally don't agree with Akhmednabiev's position on many issues; however, this is no reason for expressing such emotions," said Nariman Gadjiev.

Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev himself did not tell the press conference any details about the circumstances of the attempt and the person who could be involved, in his opinion, in the crime.

"The people who call themselves militants play under their own rules and say that they wouldn't follow 'our' laws. It's quite naïve to expect them to follow any rules. There are frequent situations when employees of law enforcement bodies openly break the law themselves," said the journalist.

In May 2012, Akhmednabiev received threats. His name was also on the so-called "execution list", which was disseminated in September 2009 in the capital of Dagestan as leaflets, where some anonymous authors promised to purposefully take revenge on militiamen and peaceful citizens. The list included lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders well-known in Dagestan, including Hadjimurad Kamalov, the founder and publisher of the Dagestani weekly "Chernovik", who was shot dead on December 15, 2011, not far from the office of the "Chernovik".

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