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Khimki Authorities Clash With Relatives Over Beketov's Burial

Khimki authorities insisted Wednesday that opposition journalist Mikhail Beketov be buried in a cemetery 20 kilometers away from his native town, said the manager of his support fund.

Beketov, the former editor-in-chief of the Khimskaya Pradva newspaper, died Monday in the hospital, where he was being treated for permanent disabilities sustained in a severe beating in November 2008 that are widely believed to have been related to his campaigning activities.

But authorities in Khimki, just north of Moscow, said there is no place for him in the city's cemeteries, said Lyudmila Fedotova, Beketov's support fund manager.

It comes a day after acting Moscow region Governor Andrei Vorobyov said that Beketov's relatives would choose the place of his burial.

"If they choose a cemetery in Khimki, then the journalist will be buried there," he said, according to Interfax.

Fedotova said they had been looking into having Beketov buried at one of two cemeteries within Khimki, and had been offered a space in a family plot in the town's Novoluzhinskoye cemetery.

But city authorities have maintained that the nearest available plot was in the Novoshodnenskoye cemetery, some 20 kilometers away, she said.

"I have just been speaking to the Khimki authorities and they have told me that everything is remaining in force — Misha will be buried at Novoshodnenskoye cemetery," she told Interfax.

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