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Editor of vocal newspaper in Moscow severely assaulted over critical reporting

Mikhail Beketov, editor-in-chief of Khimkinskaya Pravda.Photo: The Other Russia

The editor-in-chief of a small and vocal opposition newspaper in the Moscow suburbs, who fought a campaign to protect a forest from destruction by real-estate developers, is in critical condition after being assaulted and beaten outside his home.

Mikhail Beketov, editor-in-chief of the Khimkinskaya Pravda newspaper, was found unconscious after being badly beaten on Thursday near his home in the northwestern suburbs of Moscow, RIA-Novosti news agency reported quoting a police source. "Police have launched a criminal investigation into the assault on Mikhail Beketov," the source said.

The opposition Other Russia website reported: [Link]

The journalist, who publishes the Khimkinskaya Pravda (Khimki Truth) newspaper, was taken in an unconscious state to a city hospital, where his condition remains extremely serious. Beketov sustained a head injury, multiple broken bones, and other injuries that doctors said could easily have been fatal.

Mikhail Beketov is well known for his critical articles against local authorities in Khimki. His paper has raised issues like the the transfer of an airmen hero monument, and the battle to save a section of the Khimki forest.

Beketov’s articles apparently raised the ire of authorities. In May of 2007, unknown perpetrators detonated his car, and in February, a criminal case was launched against him for alleged libel. The editor has also said that threats were made against his life.

RIA-Novosti reported: [Link]

The police official said it was too early to say whether the assault was related to Beketov's professional activities as a journalist.

However, Beketov had reportedly received numerous threats over his investigations. His car was torched in May allegedly as a warning to stop his independent probe into illegal attempts to clear large sections of the Khimki forest for construction.

Date posted: November 14, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 469