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MOSCOW, April 11 (Itar-Tass) - A mourning ceremony for Mikhail Beketov - a famous journalist who was Editor-in-Chief of Khimkinskaya Pravda newspaper, has been held at the Moscow House of Journalists in Nikitski Boulevard on Thursday.
Opening the mourning ceremony for the journalist, Chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists Vsevolod Bogdanov said that prior to the tragedy Mikhail Beketov had not been widely known and worked at a small newspaper, but he always upheld his principles, was a real journalist and was very proud of it. "Beketov believed that he ought to change the existing state of things; he used to say that one cannot live in the epoch of dishonesty and that life should be changed and organized in a different way, especially in terms of law," Bogdanov said. He recalled that a total of 350 journalists had been killed over the past 20 years. Bogdanov read out a message of condolences expressed by President Vladimir Putin in connection with the death of the outstanding man.
Another name has been added to a sad list of killed journalists, said MP and Secretary of the Union of Journalists Boris Reznik. "He died, doing his professional duty, and his life and death proved to be an act of contribution to our profession and our country," Reznik said. "Beketov not merely died, defending the Khimki forest; he died, defending our principles, the most significant values - human values, fighting against lawlessness and defending the principles of law and morals," Reznik said.
"Is a range of suspects in the assault on Beketov so big that one should search for them in Antarctica, Brazil or elsewhere?" Russian Human Rights Ambassador Vladimir Lukin wonders. "It is quite obvious that the range of suspects is narrow enough, and the number of those who had ordered the crime against Beketov is even smaller," Lukin stressed.
"Mikhail Beketov lived and died like a Man in a rather inhuman epoch," the ombudsman said." He was a great hero," Lukin declared.
Other prominent people, including Oleg Mitvol - leader of the Green Alliance party, Yevgenia Chirikova- an activist who protects the environment of the Khimki district, Chairman of Yabloko party Sergei Mironov, addressed the mourners during the ceremony. Proposals were voiced to name one of the streets in Moscow after Mikhail Beketov.
Around 100 people came to the mourning ceremony to pay last respects to Mikhail Beketov; and many journalists were present at the ceremony.
Mikhail Beketov will be buried in Novoluzhinskoye cemetery in the Khimki district on Thursday afternoon.
Mikhail Beketov fell victim to a barbarous assault on him in 2008 which made him incapacitated with one leg and fingers on his hand missing. Beketov was cruelly beaten up following his campaign against a highway project in the Khimki green zone outside Moscow.
After the 2008 attack, Beketov was in a coma and later spent more than two years in hospitals. The attackers were never identified.