Moscow Meeting in Memory of Anna Politkovskaya
died from the bullets of a killer
on 7 October 2006
a journalist who
played a major role in defending
human rights in Russia
At 12 oclock today on Pushkin Square in the centre of Moscow a meeting was held in memory of Anna Politkovskaya, murdered on Saturday in the lift of her block of flats on Lesnaya Street. Anna Politkovskaya wrote a lot about the war in Chechnya, about grave human rights violations committed by Russian troops and frequently travelled to military zones and refugee camps.
Around one and a half thousand people came to pay tribute, among them journalists, politicians and ordinary citizens. Some carried banners reading: “Anna was killed by a bloodthirsty regime”, “The Kremlin has killed freedom of speech”, “Anna was Russias great daughter”. People laid flowers at the photo of the murdered journalist, and a few dozen candles burned on the surrounding asphalt.
The meeting was attended by human rights defenders Ludmila Alexeeva and Lev Ponomaryov, one of the leaders of “Yabloko” Sergei Mitrokhin, Edward Limonov leader of NBP, Vladimir Ryzhkov leader of the Republican Party of Russia, the co-chair of the All-Russian Civic Congress Georgy Satarov and others.
There were also a few Georgian flags flying and many of those present were wearing badges “Im a Georgian” or yellow stars. At 2 oclock a meeting had been planned against persecution of individuals on ethnic grounds [cf http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1160179173]
The Meeting in Memory did not pass without incident: 15 minutes before the official beginning somebody hung a banner on the monument to Pushkin reading “Politkovskaya is the Russian Gongadze. Orange beasts, youll answer for her death”. The banner was removed before the meeting began, and according to the Internet publication Gazeta.ru police officers detained one of those who put it there, an activist of the youth movement “Young Russia”. Five minutes after the beginning of the action, there was another provocation with several young people forcing their way in among those attending and shouting insults. With the cry “Fascism – out!”, they were pushed in the direction of the police officers: one of them was detained, but three broke free of the police and ran along the boulevard – two police officers chased them but they got away.