Jan 22, 2009

Guns Don't Kill People, Journalists Carrying Them Might

Aleksandr Lebedev has made the news a lot today, but in this case its for his co-ownership of Novaya Gazeta and not the Evening Standard. In reaction to the contract-style killing of prominent human rights attorney Stanislav Markelov and NG reporter Anastasia Baburova, Lebedev has asked the government to permit his journalists to carry guns.

As RFE/RL reports, Ms. Baburova was the fourth NG reporter killed in the last nine years. However, other reports of the incident suggest that she was not the intended target, but was shot after pursuing the masked gunman who shot Markelov. The assassination of Mr. Markelov has been associated by many with his recent, vocal petitioning against the release of Col. Budanov (for more info see here).

This surprising request to arm NG journalists comes at a time when the rest of Russia has been arming itself as well. Window on Eurasia noted that today more than 1 in every 10 Russian's owns a lethal weapon, even though it is illegal for private citizens to possess a gun without official government sanction. If anything, this new trend should be taken as a sign of the growing insecurity amongst the population (and journalists) and a lack of faith in the ability/desire of government officials to protect them.

1 comment:

Sheila said...

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