Anna Politkovskaya murdered
The well-known journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya has been murdered in Moscow. Her body was found by a neighbour in the lift of the block of apartments where she lived at around 5 p.m. this evening, 7 October. Police officers also found a “Makarova” pistol in the lift and four bullets. An investigation team is presently at the site.
Anna Politkovskaya had been threatened on many occasions. In September 2001 she published an article in “Novaya gazeta” entitled “People disappearing”, which told of the fate of a Chechen Zelimkhan Murdalov, arrested in Chechnya by the Khanta-Mansiysk OMON [riot police] at the beginning of 2001, who vanished without trace. After that the journalist began receiving letters by email with threats from a certain “cadet”. “Cadet” was what they called the officer of the Khanta-Mansiysk OMON, Sergei Lapin, who directly “worked” with Murdalov after his arrest. Lapin was initially charged, but then the charges were withdrawn.
In September 2004 during the tragedy at the school in Beslan, an attempt was made to poison Anna Politkovskaya in the plane of her way to Beslan. Then Anna Politkovskaya said that she had been “removed from the field” in order to prevent her carrying out her plan for resolving the situation. “Openly, using our mobile telephones many other people and myself discussed how to get Maskhadov there. This was the sort of thing that we had long stopped talking about on our mobiles. But we were already not worrying about that. My position was that we needed to make all efforts to get Maskhadov to persuade those people to release the children, to get him to come out of hiding”, the journalist said.
Anna Politkovskaya worked for the newspaper “Novaya gazeta” from June 1999. On a number of occasions she visited zones of military action and refugee camps in Dagestan and then in Ingushetia and Chechnya.
Anna Politkovskaya was also involved in human rights work, helping the mothers of soldiers killed with their cases in court, carrying out investigations into corruption in the Ministry of Defence and in the command of the united federal troops in Chechnya.