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Rally in memory of Anna Politkovskaya took place in Moscow

Press Release
October 7, 2009

A rally in memory of Anna Politkovskaya, journalist of the oppositional Novaya Gazeta newspaper, gathered about 300 people in Moscow on October 7.

Dmitry Muratov, Editor-in Chief of Novaya Gazeta, told that Muscovites brought many flowers, books, messages to Annas tomb. He also paid tribute to the memory of journalists and human rights activists murdered in the past years, as well as those suffering persecutions from the authorities. I am absolutely sure, that there will come time, when a monument to Natasha Estemirova will be erected in the centre of Grozny, and a monument to Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow, he said.

Ludmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, thanked all who came to the rally to express their tribute to Anna. As the killers were not found and were not even condemned by those people who are in power now, it is we who condemn them, she said.

Ludmila Alexeyeva and Alexei Simonov

Of course we shall see, or rather you shall see, the murders convicted one day, but before this we may have to gather with the same placards but with different photos, as no one has bee actually looking for the murderers, no one convicted them, they are even help to get abroad, they help them to escape the trial, however those mourning publicly are under trial, Alexeyeva said.

The list of murdered journalists is the list of the most courageous people. This is the list of those who proved by their deaths that they penetrated into the spheres where it was prohibited to penetrate, Viktor Shenderovich, renowned journalist, said in his speech. These crimes will be investigated when murders of these people will not be in power.

A popular actress Liya Akhedzhakova asked a rhetorical question, I am not that interested to learn who stabbed, who shot, who slaughtered [them]. It is not of primary concern for me. I wonder who is the Director [staging all this]?

Liya Akhedzhakova

YABLOKOs leader Sergei Mitrokhin also made a speech at the rally. When we are asking questions here whether our authorities, our state are involved in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, or the murders of [journalists] Yuri Schekochikhin, Larissa Yudina, Farid Babayev (Ed. Head of YABLOKOs branch in Dagestan), unfortunately this list has been growing, I personally can only give a positive answer to this question. They are involved at least in how they have been investigating all these crimes. While Annas murder is not investigated, all of us are at gunpoint, Mitrokhin said.

Sergei Mitrokhin

Many speakers also raised their voices in defence of journalist Alexander Podrabinek, who also was one of the speakers. Podrabinek noted, They have been trying to return us back to the Soviet Union and Soviet times today, and in memory of our murdered colleagues, in memory of Anna Politkovskaya we should spare no effort so that keep our freedom from being torn by this leash.

Alexander Podrabinek

The participants of the rally also recollected the tragedy of Nord-Ost, a theatre full of hostages, and Beslan, when schoolchildren were taken hostages on the first school day. The rally called the citizens of Russia to display their civil activity and stop being indifferent.

Human rights activist Sergei Kovalyov, writer and human rights activist Alexei Simonov, Actor Eugeni Redko, journalist Eugeniya Albats, Mikhail Khodorkovskys lawyer Yuri Schmidt, politicians Boris Nemtsov and Mikhail Kasyanov also spoke at the meeting.

The speakers also shared their personal memories of Anna, read out an abstract from her article. All the people brought flowers and laid them to Annas photograph.

After the rally the participants went to Lesnaya street, where Anna lived and where she was killed. Flowers were also laid there.

More photographs at the Moscow YABLOKO web-site

See also:
Human Rights
Freedom of Speech and Media Law in Russia

Press Release

October 7, 2009