BosNewsLifeRadioJournalist Listen here to the BosNewsLife Radio News report via Vatican Radio
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International correspondent
MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)– Tributes are paid Sunday, October 7, to Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who was killed exactly six years ago by a still unknown gunman in an attack that critics have linked to her journalistic work.
As Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrated his 60th birthday, friends and relatives mourned Politkovskaya in the capital Moscow.
They held a rally, approved at the last moment by local officials, amid new questions why those who killed the 48-year-old reporter have not been sentenced by authorities.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement it is “gravely concerned” by what it called “the complete absence of justice” in her killing, despite government pledges to solve the crime.
Only a retired police lieutenant colonel was indicted on charges of complicity in the murder, but Politkovskaya’s supporters are angry that authorities made a deal with the suspect to reveal the mastermind behind close doors.
KILLED IN LOBBY
Politkovskaya was shot dead exactly six years ago in the lobby of her apartment building in downtown Moscow.
As a reporter of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper she frequently criticized the Kremlin and revealed human rights abuses in the troubled Russian republic of Chechnya, where militants have fought for independence from Moscow.
She said in an interview that “what upsets” her “is the fact that this work seems a burial party.”
(What’s here excerpts of an interview with Anna Politkovskaya; story continues after this)
Politkovskaya reported on horrors she claimed were committed by the Russian army, including elderly men in Chechnya being crucified with nails or otherwise humiliated and killed.
In what appeared a self-fulfilling prophecy, she acknowledged that the “risk is part of the journalistic profession” and that “something might happen.” Yet, she stressed, “The important question is: Does anything change because of what we have written or because we have suffered as a results of writing it? Has anything changed for the better in our society?”
KEEPING MEMORY ALIVE
Her supporters try to keep her memory alive by giving the so-called Anna ‘Politkovsakaya Award 2012’ to Marie Colvin, the internationally acclaimed Sunday Times newspaper journalist, who was killed in Syria earlier this year.
“She had the same mission in life like Anna,” explained Politkovskaya’s sister, Elena Kudimova. “[That mission was] to report the horrors of war with accuracy and without prejudice.”
The Foreign Editor of The Sunday Times, Sean Ryan, praised the decision to award his late colleague. “It is a tremendous honor for Marie to be mentioned in the same breath as Anna,” he said. “We did a little bit of work with Anna before she died through our Moscow correspondent,” Ryan added.
“And we were devastated when the news of Anna’s murder broke. I think it is a terrible thing for any newspaper to face the death of a journalist and particular so if we feel that the journalist has been deliberately targeted for what they were writing.”
The U.S. State Department has described Politkovskaya as”a champion of human dignity.”
(BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key general news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals especially from, but not limited to, (former) Communist and autocratic nations.)