The U.S. government and an European security organization are calling on Russia to find and prosecute the people who killed a prominent Russian journalist 11 years ago.
Both the U.S. State Department and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe issued statements Saturday urging Russia to prosecute those responsible for the death of Anna Politkovskaya who was killed in her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.
“Ms. Politkovskaya’s reporting brought to light the violation of human rights in Russia and the suffering of victims of the war in the North Caucasus region,” said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokesperson. “The unsolved murders of Ms. Politkovskaya – a dual U.S. – Russian citizen – and other journalists in Russia, as well as threats against journalists exposing more recent abuses in Chechnya, have only worsened an atmosphere of intimidation for the independent press.”
Harlem Desir, OSCE representative on freedom of the media, said, ” It is unacceptable that the masterminds behind (Politkovskaya’s) and other journalists’ assassination remain at large. This vicious circle of impunity has a continuing effect on the situation of media freedom in Russia.”
Politkovskaya was internationally renowned for her extensive reports in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper on human rights abuses and corruption in Chechnya and other parts of the Russian Caucasus plagued by a deadly Islamist insurgency. She also was a sharp critic of the Kremlin and its policies in Chechnya, as well as of the republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
The Committee to Protect Journalists named Politkovskaya one of the world’s top press freedom figures in the fall 2006 edition of its magazine, Dangerous Assignments.