| JRL Home | JRL Simple/Mobile | RSS | Newswire | Archives | JRL Newsletter | Support | About
Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Now find Politkovskaya's killers

Anna PolitkovskayaThe news, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya's murder on Oct. 7, 2006, that the investigation will be widened is a belated but still welcome development.

The next key step is clearly to detain the suspected gunman, identified in the first, abortive trial as Rustam Makhmudov, from his hiding place abroad and to investigate further who gave the order to kill Politkovskaya.

[Original of image copyright (c) 2010. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036]

In a meeting with officials from the Committee to Protest Journalists, Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin has acknowledged that prosecutors botched the "rushed" trial into Anna' killing. Bastykin concluded that the killers were motived by wanting to curry favour with the future Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, but that the killing was not carried out on his orders.

The most important result of catching those responsible for Anna's murder would be one of deterrence, however.

Catching and punishing those who want to silence outspoken journalists would go a long way to restore faith in media freedom in Russia. That was the conclusion from a varied panel of speakers at a debate hosted by The Moscow News this week, where all participants agreed that the unsolved killings of journalists remain a stain on the country's reputation for freedom of speech.

Apart from Anna, another 17 cases of unsolved journalists' killings over the last decade put Russia 8th worldwide as a proportion of the population, a grim statistic from the CPJ.

In Moscow, CPJ officials also visited Mikhail Beketov, the former editor of Khiminskaya Pravda, who was brutally beaten to within an inch of his life in 2008 after speaking out against the destruction of Khimki forest. Still in hospital, Beketov has lost the power of speech, has had a leg and fingers amputated and has various other injuries.

Bringing the perpetrators to justice cannot undo these crimes, but it can act as a form of protection for journalists in the future.

And sadly, without such justice, it is difficult to speak of real media freedom in the country.

Keyword Tags:

Russia, Assassinations, Media, Reporters, Journalist Murders - Johnson's Russia List - Russia News - Russia

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter Tweet