Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (20 April) on the death of the Russian investigative journalist Maxim Borodin:
I am concerned about the way the death of Maxim Borodin, a Russian investigative journalist, is being dealt with. The local investigating authorities are proceeding on the assumption that it was an accident. However, Mr Borodin is said to have felt threatened prior to his death. I support the demand of Harlem Désir, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, namely that the circumstances of the death must be transparently and fully investigated. Russia must guarantee an impartial investigation into every aspect of the case.
Unfortunately, this has not always happened in the past. Last year’s murders of the journalists Dmitri Popkov and Nikolai Andrushchenko remain unsolved. The circumstances of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, too, have not been fully investigated. We continue to call upon Russia to solve these cases and better protect the work of journalists.
The journalist Maxim Borodin died on Sunday in hospital. He is claimed to have fallen from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment on 12 April. The circumstances have not yet been clarified. Borodin’s investigative reporting focused on, among other things, Russia’s operations in Syria, its role in the conflict in Ukraine, and private Russian security contractors.