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Contract Killings


Friday, 21 March 2008

Ilyas Shurpayev's added his name to the list of journalists have been slain in contract-style killings in Russia

"A journalist for state-run Russian television was found dead in Moscow early Friday and prosecutors have opened a murder investigation, colleagues and officials said.
Firefighters found Channel One correspondent Ilyas Shurpayev's body in his apartment with stab wounds and a belt around his neck, Channel One spokeswoman Larisa Krymova said. She said a fire was apparently set in the apartment after the attack.
The Investigative Committee, a branch of the prosecutor's office said a murder investigation was underway. It said nothing about a possible motive.
State-run Vesti-24 television cited a concierge in Shurpayev's building as saying he had called down from his apartment early Friday to ask her to let two young men in.
Shurpayev, 32, was a native of the mostly Muslim Dagestan province and had worked in Russia's violence-ridden North Caucasus, which includes Dagestan and war-scarred Chechnya. Dagestan is plagued by tension among rival groups and political factions.
Hours before his death, Shurpayev wrote in his blog that the owners of a newspaper in Dagestan banned a column he wrote and instructed its staffers not to mention his name in publications.
"Now I am a dissident!" was the title of the last entry in the Web journal under his name.
More than a dozen journalists have been slain in contract-style killings in Russia since 2000. Many journalists appear to have been targeted for beatings and killings because of their attempts to dig into allegations of corruption

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