Independent journalist Timur Kuashev was found dead in the woods of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic in the Russian Caucasus on August 1, the Guardian reports. The 26-year-old covered security forces' human rights abuses in anti-terrorism operations.
His friends and family believe he was poisoned by security forces in relation to his professional activities, reports Caucasian Knot.
Kuashev defended the rights of practicing Muslims, which attracted the suspicion of local police. He also criticized Russia's policy in Ukraine.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe called for an investigation into his death.
The Russian Caucasus has been a dangerous place for independent journalism for years, reports Reporters Without Borders.
Most Russian journalists targeted or killed focus their reporting on the North Caucasus, writes Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism.
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