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US condemns Russia’s ‘ongoing crackdown on independent media’

US Star and Stripes flag. Stock Photo: dcandau/Pixabay

Washington, July 15 (MNN) The US has condemned what it said was the Russian government’s “ongoing crackdown on independent media” and asserted that it stands in solidarity with independent Russian journalists and human rights defenders.

The US also pointed out that the organisers and perpetrators of the heinous murders of two journalists — Natalya Estemirova and Paul Klebnikov — were never brought to justice, and violence and pressure against journalists continues with impunity in Russia.

“Estemirova’s and Klebnikov’s legacies will live on in their work, in the next generation of brave reporters they have inspired, and in the fight for human rights and against corruption in Russia,” US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said.

He said that the US this month honours Estemirova and Klebnikov.

Klebnikov, a Forbes magazine journalist and US citizen, investigated and exposed corruption in post-Soviet Russia. On July 9, 2004, he was shot and killed in Moscow, likely in retaliation for his work, Price said.

“Estemirova exposed the egregious human rights violations committed during the Second Chechen War as a human rights activist and journalist for Novaya Gazeta. Estemirova was abducted in Grozny, Chechnya and killed on July 15, 2009.”

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