World News

Medvedev promises to probe attacks on journalists

BERLIN (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev promised on Thursday that all attempts to harm, hinder or kill journalists in Russia would be investigated.

“All instances related to attempts on the life and health of journalists in our country will be investigated and prosecuted to the end, regardless of when they occurred,” Medvedev told a gathering of political and business leaders in Berlin.

“This is our obligation, the government’s obligation, and we are obliged to carry it out. This we will do.”

International concern over Russian press freedom and the safety of journalists has grown as a result of the unsolved murders of two Moscow journalists and dozens of other deaths and attacks in the country.

Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, was shot dead in 2004. Anna Politkovskaya, who documented abuses in two Russian wars in Chechnya, was killed outside her Moscow apartment in 2006.

Medvedev said Russian media were still in danger after being freed from Soviet shackles in the early 1990s, and still needed protection, although the nature of the threat had changed.

“If several years ago (media) needed protection from corporate enslavement, then today it is from attacks by bureaucrats on various levels,” he said.

Writing by Chris Baldwin, editing by Andrew Dobbie