Russia - TV journalist murdered in his Moscow apartment



    MONTREAL, March 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Journalist Ilyas Shurpayev, a
specialist in the North Caucasus employed by state-owned Perviy Kanal (Channel
One) television, was found dead early this morning in his rented Moscow
apartment. He had been strangled with a belt. The police have opened a murder
investigation.
    "We are shocked and saddened by Shurpayev's murder," Reporters Without
Borders said. "We urge the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation
and to consider all hypotheses, including the possibility that it was linked
to his work as a journalist, which is such a risky profession in Russia."
    Shurpayev's body was found when firemen came in response to a report by
neighbours that there was a fire in the apartment, which he began renting last
month. The investigators think his killers may have started the fire in an
attempt to eliminate any possible clues.
    It is thought that Shurpayev, 32, let his killers into the apartment. He
had called the building's concierge at 2 a.m. to ask her to allow two people,
apparently of North Caucasus origin, into the building.
    Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that he was killed in
connection with his work. The head of the Perviy Kanal office in Dagestan,
where Shurpayev used to work, said he did not know why he was murdered. "I do
not understand, I spoke to him yesterday evening at 6 p.m. and everything was
all right," he said.
    A few hours before his death, Shurpayev posted an entry in his blog about
a dispute between the management and staff of the Dagestan-based newspaper
Nastoyashee Vremya. The publisher had just given the staff a list of names of
people who were not to be mentioned or quoted. Shurpayev's name was at the
head of the list.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, secretary general,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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