Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018, 16:17 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2001 - Motive Confirmed: Gundars Matiss

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date January 2002
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2001 - Motive Confirmed: Gundars Matiss, January 2002, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Kurzeme Vards
November 28, 2001, in Liepaja, Latvia

Matiss, a crime reporter with the Liepaja-based daily Kurzeme Vards, was attacked on November 15 in the stairwell of his apartment building after he returned home from a shopping expedition. In a phone conversation from the hospital two hours after the attack, Matiss told the paper's editor-in-chief, Andzilss Remess, that someone followed him home and hit him from behind with a truncheon or club. He was struck several times on the head, arms, and legs. The assailant fled when neighbors interrupted the attack.

Matiss underwent three operations and fell into a coma. He died on November 28 from a brain hemorrhage. The reporter had most recently investigated the contraband alcohol trade in Liepaja, according to Remess.

Though the police cited robbery, personal revenge, and retaliation for his journalism as possible motives, Matiss had not been robbed, and does not seem to have been involved in any serious personal dispute.

His editor told CPJ: "Matiss knew a lot about the criminal world. He was one of those reporters who went deep." At press time, the police investigation was still ongoing.

Job:Print Reporter
Beats Covered:Crime
Local or Foreign:Local
Type of Death:Murder
Suspected Source of Fire:Criminal Group
Taken Captive:No


Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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