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Russian Opposition Journalist Beketov Dies at 55
9.04.2013 09:55
Russian Opposition Journalist Beketov Dies at 55

An opposition journalist from the Moscow Region, Mikhail Beketov, who became disabled after a brutal beating five years ago died on Monday after choking on a bit of food.

      At the time of the incident Beketov was in the hospital and medics failed to resuscitate him, Lyudmila Fedotova, the head of a Beketov support fund, says. He died at 55 from cardiac arrest afther the choking.

      Beketov headed a local newspaper in the Moscow region’s city of Khimki and was a vocal opponent of the city administration. He criticized many initiatives by the local authorities, including the demolishing of the Khimki forest to build a highway.

      Most Beketov's colleagues are sure it was the Khimki forest case which caused the attack on Beketov. In 2008 he was attacked in the street by unidentified thugs. Beketov was beaten with metal rods, losing a leg and several fingers, as well as the ability to speak after a heavy brain injury.

      At least three other forest defenders were targeted in 2009 and 2010 in attacks similar to that on Beketov. Investigators implicated a city official as a middleman in one of the attacks, but never said who masterminded it.

      Beketov was given a Press Freedom Award by Reporters Without Borders in 2010 and a Russian government award for journalism in 2012.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Mikhail Beketov obituary Russian journalists Khimki Forest  

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