New “Light” shed on media in Moscow: Tajik journalist attacked and recovering
Dodojon Atovulloev, according to Wikileaks, is:
“One of the foremost journalists from Tajikistan, Atovulloev has fearlessly sought to get the news out on his native country, where violence and state authoritarianism have been the norm for years.”
Tajik journalist Dodojon Atovulloev – founder and editor of the Tajik opposition monthly Charogi Ruz (“Daily Light”), was stabbed in the Italian restaurant “Viaggio” in Moscow on January 12th. The attack led Atovulloev to be hospitalized at Moscow’s Sklifosovsky Institute, where he underwent surgery.
On January 14th, on their Facebook page, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said:
“Police apprehended a man who was found with blood on his hands within hours of the attack but released him after concluding that he was not connected to the attack. There are no other known suspects at this time, police said.”
In their press release on January 13th, in their fight for the journalist’s justice, Reporters Without Borders:
“…calls on the Russian police to do all it can to identify his attacker and those behind the crime.”
“All avenues must be explored, taking account of the professional activities of this noted opposition journalist.”
Atovulloev’s Charogi Ruz, which was founded in 1991, was the first privately-owned newspaper to be recognized after Tajik independence. The journalist was forced out of Tajikistan, for his media work that criticizes President Emomali Rakhmo.
About the outspoken journalist, Central Asian News says:
“56-year-old Atovulloev is a leader of “Vatandor” movement, known for sharp criticism of the policies of Tajik President Emomalii Rahmon. A few years ago the journalist emigrated for political reasons and now is permanently between Germany and Russia.”
This Moscow stabbing was certainly not the first dangerous incident of threat and risk brought upon this fearless journalist. Doro Zabehov, Atovulloev’s brother-in-law, told RFE/RL that Atovulloev had been “under constant threats and pressures” for years:
“”Even since he left Tajikistan, he has been persecuted.””
“”We knew there were constant risks to his life, but he would never talk about them. He wouldn’t tell us who his enemies were, so I won’t speculate.”"
WikiLeaks explains the danger Atovulloev has faced for many years:
“In 1992, the paper’s offices were broken into. Following that incident, Atovulloev fled to Moscow where he continued to publish Charogi Ruz in exile. However, the threats against him did not stop. Informed of an assassination plot against him by Tajik authorities in 2006, Atovulloev and his family fled to Germany in May. In July of 2001, Atovulloev was detained in Moscow as he was on his way to visit family in Uzbekistan.”
And for the charges he has faced, WikiLeaks explains:
“The Tajik government wanted to extradite him to face charges of insulting the president and inciting to overthrow the government — both punishable by death under Tajik laws. Under international pressure, Moscow relented, and Atovulloev was allowed to return to Germany.”
On January 19th, in Atovulloev’s latest interview with Fergana news agency, he sounds ready to continue his work, and thanks doctors who saved his life, as well as all friends who were with him during those difficult times.
neweurasia joins the international community in raising awareness to Atovulloev’s case and fighting for the health and justice this respected journalist and opposition figure rightfully deserves.