International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today marked the fourth
anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya by
urging the Russian authorities to ensure justice for her and her long-suffering
family and colleagues.
killer has been named but not caught, his alleged accomplices have been put on
trial but acquitted, and those behind her murder appear to have got away scot-free
," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "The way her murder has been
handled is an indictment of the Russian justice system. Her family and friends
have endured much distress and frustration and it is time to put an end to
IFJ says the recent announcement by Russia's chief investigator of plans to
re-examine 19 deaths of journalists since 2000 is a positive development but
must be backed up by real deeds tackling the instigators of murders such as
that of Politkovskaya in 2006, not just the perpetrators. The Federation also
calls on the authorities to re-open not only the most famous and widely known
cases but also the targeted killings of journalists in regions of Russia far
from Moscow or the North Caucasus.
a prominent journalist for the Novaya
Gazeta and a specialist in exposing human rights violations who
voiced criticism of Kremlin policy in Chechnya, was gunned down outside her
flat four years ago today. Two men suspected of helping to organise her murder
were acquitted in February 2009.
In its on-going campaign against impunity for
those who attack journalists in Russia, the IFJ will keep up the pressure for a
successful investigation of these murders and attacks and for open and fair
trials of all accused of taking part in such violence.
goal of the campaign is to encourage zero tolerance for violence against
journalists, whatever form it may take - threats, attacks or targeted killings.
Having examined the deaths of journalists in Russia since the
early 1990s with its Russian partners, the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ),
the Glasnost Defence Foundation (GDF), and the Centre for Journalism in Extreme
Situations (CJES), the IFJ is now focusing not only on bringing the killers to
justice but on preventing attacks and tackling the widespread threat of
violence. In December the Federation will publish a study of assaults on
journalists in Russia since 2005. This shows that, if trials are now held in
more than half of all killings, only one in ten of these non-fatal attacks lead
to judicial hearings.
is time for violence to cease
being an option," added White. "We need protection for journalists and justice
for the victims and it's time for the authorities to get this message."
For more information, please contact
IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more
than 600.000 journalists in 125 countries