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Russia3 October 2008

On eve of second anniversary of Politkovskaya murder, her son asks journalists not to forget her

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard, Ilya Politkovskiy, the son of slain Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and Roza Malsagova, the editor of the Ingush news website Ingushetiya.ru, gave a news conference today at Reporters Without Borders headquarters in Paris about the press freedom situation in Russia, especially developments in the Politkovskaya murder case and recent events in the Caucasus.

“Dmitri Medvedev’s election as president has brought no improvement in the press freedom situation in Russia. The broadcast media are under the Kremlin’s control and violence against journalists has not decreased” Julliard said, opening the news conference, held three days before the second anniversary of Politkovskaya’s murder in Moscow on 7 October 2006.

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Her son, Politkovskiy, reported that the murder case was transferred yesterday to a military court because one of the defendants is a former member of the Federal Security Service (the ex-KGB). “Our fear now is that the trial will be held behind closed doors,” he said.

Politkovskiy insisted that, regardless of what the Russian judicial authorities say, “the case cannot be considered closed because the defendants include neither the person who fired the shots nor the people who were behind my mother’s death.”

He asked journalists “not to forget my mother” and voiced his concern that, after the trial, the case will be regarded as closed and the real perpetrators will be left alone. “It is important that the media’s attention does not flag,” he said, adding that the family had brought a complaint before the European Court of Human Rights for “violation of the right to life” (article two of the convention).

Malsagova talked about the murder of Ingushetiya.ru’s owner, Magomed Yevloyev, on 31 August. Arrested as he disembarked in Ingushetia from a flight from France, he was found shot in the head a few hours later. Ingush government investigators described his murder as “death through negligence.”

“Magomed was the owner of the only website talking about the situation in Ingushetia, about the kidnappings and murders of young men by the special services and the Ingush police,” Malsagova told the news conference. “I take the responsibility of saying that Magomed’s death was an act of revenge by senior Russian and Ingush officials.”

Photo Credits : Pierre Payan




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