Anna Politkovskaya: May Her Legacy of Bravery Serve as an Example to Others

Supporters of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya

Supporters of slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya

Investigative journalist, writer and humn rights activist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow 11 years ago today. She was 48 years old.

While working for Novaya Gazeta, Politkovskaya was gunned down by an unknown assailant in the elevator of her apartment block in Moscow. She was known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and Putin. The case remains unsolved.

A little know fact is that former Radio Liberty cotrespondent in Moscow, Anatoly Dotsenko, Politkovskaya’s fixer, died suddenly before her in suspicious circumstances.

Journalism is one of the most dangerous professions in Russia - many are being persecuted, harassed, murdered.

Politkovskaya was the author of many books, including Is Journalism Worth Dying For? A book reviewer described her as “the voice of the Russian people...the suppressed, the murdered, the victimized.”

Politkovskaya said famously: “We are hurtling back into a Soviet abyss, into an information vacuum that spells death from our own ignorance. All we have left is the internet, where information is still freely available. For the rest, if you want to go on working as a journalist, it's total servility to Putin. Otherwise, it can be death, the bullet, poison, or trial—whatever our special services, Putin's guard dogs, see fit.”

In its annual Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Russia at 148 out of 180 countries surveyed. It described Russia as having a stifling atmosphere for journalists.

Says MSF: “Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become increasingly oppressive for those who try to maintain quality journalism or question the new patriotic and neo-conservative. More and more bloggers are receiving prisons sentences for their activity on online social networks. The leading human rights NGOs have been declared “foreign agents.” The oppressive climate at the national level encourages powerful provincial officials far from Moscow to crack down even harder on their media critics.”



Michael Bociurkiw