Statement on the Killing of Television Journalist Kazbek Gekkiyev in the Russian Federation

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 13, 2012

The United States wishes to join with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, in expressing our concern about the December 5 murder of television journalist Kazbek Gekkiyev, who was killed in the southern Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, and to express our condolences to his family and colleagues.

We welcome the quick action by Russian authorities in sending an investigation team, following statements by officials that Gekkiyev’s murder was likely connected to his professional activities. We trust that the investigation will lead to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

We also would like to reiterate our regret that we were unable to reach consensus in Dublin on the Irish Chairmanship’s media freedom decision, which would have brought more attention to the dangerous conditions faced by journalists in the OSCE region. We intend to continue pursuing an OSCE decision promoting the safety of journalists during the coming year, and we look forward to cooperating with other participating States toward this end.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.