Thursday, September 4, 2008

Abdulla Alishayev, Russian journalist, shot dead


CNN reports:

Abdulla Alishayev -- a host on one of the most popular Islamic television stations in the Russian republic of Dagestan -- was shot in the head and shoulder late Tuesday while he was in his car, police told CNN.

Police said he was attacked by two unknown assailants in the Dagestan capital of Makhachkala, and the incident is under investigation.

His death comes less than three days after another journalist and prominent Kremlin critic Magomad Yevloyev was shot and killed in Ingushetia, a small Russian republic in the Caucasus region.

Dagestan and Ingushetia, which lie on opposite sides of Chechnya, are predominantly Muslim republics in southern Russia where Russian forces have sought to quell Islamist rebels.

I blogged about the previous shooting of Magomed Yevloyev here and here.

Update: Concerning this tragic event, Russian reader Sanjuro writes:

I have read about that in the Kommersant and the Gazeta.Ru... Except in the Russian sources he is mostly called Telman Alishayev. Abdulla seems to be either his nickname or a second name taken for religious reasons. Telman is a non-Moslem name, rarely used in the former Soviet Union, perhaps an allusion to Ernst Telman who was heralded as an antifascist hero by the Soviet propaganda.

The same evening when Alishayev was killed, another North Caucasus journalist, Miloslav Bitokov, was attacked and brutally beaten near his home. Mr Bitokov is an editor of the independent "Newspaper of the South" in Nalchik, capital of Kabardino-Balkaria (KBR). The newspaper is known in the republic and disliked by the authorities for its critical portrayal of the local government and various hardships of local life. See:

Although there was no much further violence, the moderately pro-establishement newspaper Vedomosti writes that the fallout is dangerous for president Murat Zyazikov. The newspaper reminds that previously Putin punished North Caucasus provincial leaders Alexander Dzasokhov and Mustafa Badtiyev much later after Beslan and Cherkessk crises, respectively (Badtiyev's term was simply not renewed). Mr. Medvedev policy and tactics of dealing with provincial strongmen are yet to be seen, but according to the Vedomosti, an undisclosed official from the President's Administration said: "Situation with Zyazikov is bad... We'll be thinking about it". (See
Sanjuro provides has provided further background, bringing us right up to date on Ingush affairs. It's posted here.

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