< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Human Rights Reporter Killed in Russia

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Human Rights Reporter Killed in Russia

From the LA Times:

A prominent Russian journalist known for reporting of human rights abuses in war-torn Chechnya was shot and killed Saturday in her apartment building in what colleagues and authorities described as an apparent assassination.

Anna Politkovskaya, 48, was shot in the chest as she was getting out of an elevator, then shot in the head, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing investigative sources. The image of the suspected killer was captured on a surveillance videotape, the agency said.

"We have a feeling, almost an assurance, that it is political murder," said Vitaly Yaroshevsky, deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper where she worked. "It was certainly related to her professional activities."

Politkovskaya, known to her friends as Anya, was one in a series of prominent officials and journalists to die violently in post-Soviet Russia, and her slaying sent a chill through Russia's community of pro-democracy and human rights activists.

Last month, gunmen shot and killed a senior central banker, Andrei Kozlov, who had been involved in shutting down banks suspected of money laundering. American journalist Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, was gunned down near his office in 2004.

Politkovskaya, a mother of two, was considered one of the toughest critics of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and of pro-Moscow Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov. One of her areas of expertise was documenting mistreatment of ordinary Chechens by Russian troops or forces loyal to Kadyrov.

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