MOSCOW, April 10 (Itar-Tass) - The authorities will provide a place at Khimki’s cemetery for the burial of local newspaper journalist Mikhail Beketov who died earlier this week, Andrei Ilnitsky, head of the Moscow Region Internal Policy Department, told Russian News Service on Wednesday, April 10.
“The final decision on the burial place will be made by the relatives,” he said.
Earlier, Beketov Support Foundation Head Lyudmila Fedotova said that the Khimki City Administration had prohibited the journalist’s burial within the city boundaries and suggested doing so at a faraway cemetery.
The funeral ceremony will be held at Moscow’s Central House of Journalists on Thursday, April 11.
Beketov, who was editor-in-chief of the Khimkinskaya Pravda (Khimki Truth) newspaper and published articles critising the city administration and the project to build a highway through the local forest, was attacked on November 13, 2008. He was found near his home severely beaten up and taken to hospital with a craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, leg fracture and multiple bruises. His leg and fingers on one of the hands were amputated and could no longer speak.
Having studied the materials of the case, the Moscow regional prosecutor’s office came to the conclusion that the attackers had intended not just to beat him up but to kill him.
Beketov died in a Khimki hospital on April 8.
President Vladimir Putin sent a message of condolences to Beketov’s relatives.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatovic, expressed deep sorrow following Beketov’s death.
A savage attack in 2008 left him permanently paralysed and unable to speak. Just last year he was awarded the governmental prize for dedication to the profession.
“I offer my condolences to Mikhail Beketov’s relatives, colleagues and friends. I regret that he did not live to see his attackers brought to justice. Those who try to silence journalists cannot be allowed to do so with impunity. I repeat my call to the Russian authorities to track down and prosecute those responsible.”