European Federation of Journalists

Russia: EFJ and IFJ remember journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin

Credits: Alexander Chernykh / ARF / PhotoXPress.

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) commemorates the 20th anniversary of the death of Russian journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin today.

Shchekochikhin, 53, then deputy editor of the independent Moscow twice-weekly Novaya Gazeta, died 12 days after being hospitalized in a Moscow clinic with what doctors said was an acute allergic reaction. He died suddenly on 3 July 2003 a few days before his scheduled departure to the United States, where he planned to meet with FBI investigators. His medical documents were either lost or destroyed by authorities.

The EFJ and IFJ believe the journalist was poisoned to prevent him from further uncovering the truth about a high-level corruption case involving officials from the Federal Security Services (FSB) and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

There is sufficient reason for launching a murder probe, but the the Prosecutor General’s Office has repeatedly denied Novaya Gazeta‘s requests to open a murder investigation into Shchekochikhin’s death.

The EFJ and IFJ denounce this case of impunity and once again call on the Russian authorities to shed full light on Yuri Shchekochikhin’s death.