Meeting in Memory of Anna Politkovskaya
150-200 people – journalists, human rights activists and others - gathered in Moscow on Novopushkinsky Square to remember Anna Politkovskaya gunned down by a hired killer on 7 October two years ago.
The main slogan of the meeting was “The trial of Anna Politkovskayas killers must be open”. The trial of those thus far charged over the killing is due to begin in the Moscow District Military Court on 15 October.
Alexei Smirnov, President of the Glasnost Defence Foundation began the meeting by reading out messages of solidarity from journalist organizations in many countries.
Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Ludmila Alexeeva stressed the importance of such acts of remembrance. “You have come – that means that Anya is remembered two years later and I am certain that she will be remembered in 20 and 30 years since she lived her brief life nobly, courageously and for other people.”
Vsevolod Bogdanov, Head of the Russian Journalists Union reminded those present that over the past 15 years 300 journalists in the country have died and the genre of journalist investigations “which influences our life, our relations to the authorities” was behind almost each death.
According to Dmitry Muratov, Chief Editor of “Novaya gazeta” [Anna Politkovskayas paper], those guilty of the crime remain at large despite the investigation having been carried out professionally.
Some of those who came to honour Anna Politkovskayas memory carried banners reading “The killers and their patrons must be brought to answer!” and “Freedom of speech, not freedom for killers!”.
The remembrance meeting in St Petersburg was supposed to take place at the Solovky Stone on Troitskaya Square, however the authorities claimed that improvements were being carried out on that site and refused to allow the meeting. This was refuted by the committee responsible for such improvements.
Based on information from www.grani.ru