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Russia6 November 2006

A month after the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, TV presenters urged to wear ‘Justice for Anna’ badge

“Tomorrow it will be a month since the death of Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down at her home in Moscow on 7 October 2006. As of now we have no guarantee that the investigation will track down the instigators and those who carried out this murder. That is why we are calling on all TV presenters to tomorrow, 7 November 2006, wear the badge “Justice for Anna!”, calling for the setting up of an international investigative commission, the only way to ensure that the truth will be revealed about this despicable murder”, said Reporters Without Borders.

(JPEG) “The petition ‘Justice for Anna!”, available on the website www.rsf.org, has already garnered more than six thousand signatures, two hundred of them from European and Russian figures, but also from Americans and Canadians. Wearing this badge gives everyone who wishes to the chance to demonstrate their anger at the plight of independent and opposition journalists in Russia. It is also the occasion to show our support. It should not be forgotten that Anna Politkovskaya was the 21st journalist to be killed because of her work in Russia since Vladimir Putin was first elected president of the Russian Federation in March 2000. The least one can say is that the Russian authorities do not make it their first priority to solve these cases, since most of them have remained unsolved to this day,” the worldwide press freedom organisation added.

On 20 October 2006, Reporters Without Borders called on the French government and French President Jacques Chirac as Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour, to strip Vladimir Putin of the Grand Cross of the Legion Honour. Questioned about this during the Lahti Summit in Finland, Chirac, who made the award to Putin himself on 22 September, refused to budge and said: “It is a republican tradition to give [the Legion of Honour] to foreign heads of state (...) it has no moral value.”

“This reply does not satisfy us. You cannot empty the Legion of Honour of all moral and honorary significance on the pretext that it could be attributed to a head of state. The protocol argument does not stand up to examination. It remains unthinkable that the highest honour which France can bestow should be awarded to Vladimir Putin, who in his politics as in his repeated statements, demonstrates his contempt for the basic principles of democracy, starting with freedom of expression,” the organisation added.

Anna Politkovskaya worked since 1999 for the bi-weekly Novaya Gazeta. In her latest book, “Russia according to Putin”, which came out in France this year, she condemned not only abuses in Chechnya but also corruption and human rights violations in Russia. Hailed internationally for her courage and professionalism, Anna Politkovskaya, 48, was found dead from several bullet wounds in her central Moscow apartment in the afternoon of Saturday 7 October.

Read the presse release "Justice for Anna Politkovskaya ! Call for international commission of enquiry

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