Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya murdered

, posted: 8-Oct-2006 16:15

Anna PolitkovskayaRussia's arguably bravest journalist and dissenting voice against Vladimir Putin has been murdered. Yesterday, Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead by an unknown assassin in the lift of the block of flats in Moscow where she lived.

Politkovskaya was a fierce critic of Putin's war in Chechnya, and would not be quiet about it, unlike much of the cowed Russian press. The question now is, was she silenced? It looks very much like a political murder - which Putin will be in the sights over.

A sad day for journalism indeed.

Update PEN's response:

PEN condemns murder of Russian journalist and author

International PEN is appalled by the news of the murder today of the
renowned Russian journalist and author, Anna Politkovskaya, who was
found shot dead in an elevator in her apartment building in Moscow.

A journalist who covered the war in Chechnya, Politkovskaya had been
receiving threats since 1999 after she wrote articles claiming that the
Russian armed forces had committed human rights abuses in Chechnya.
Despite these threats she continued to write and in 2003 published A
Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya. She was also a co-contributor
to A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya , published in 2003.
Her most recent book, Putin’s War: Life in A Failing Democracy is to be
published in paperback in December this year. In 2002 Politkovskaya was
one of the few outsiders allowed into the Moscow theatre in an attempt
to negotiate with Chechen rebels the release of hundreds of hostages. In
2004, she fell seriously ill as she attempted to fly to Beslan to cover
the hostage crisis there, leading to speculation that she had been
deliberately poisoned to stop her from reporting on the crisis.

“Anna Politkovskaya is a courageous writer known for her criticism not
only of the Chechen war but also of the totalitarian backlash
characterizing the latest developments in Russia. Her death raises
serious concerns and confirms all the fears,” said Jiri Grusa, President
of International PEN. “We protest in the strongest terms the situation
in Russia that has allowed this to occur.” A murder investigation is now
under way.

“Anna Politkovskaya’s integrity and courage inspired writers around the
world as she reported on the most difficult situations in Russia,” said
Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, International Secretary of International PEN.
“She was an outspoken advocate for human rights in PEN’s and other
forums around the globe. International PEN mourns her loss and calls for
a relentless investigation to bring to justice those who are responsible
for her murder.”

More information

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