A human rights advocate and truth-telling journalist, "a long-time critic of Putin," (cpj) Anna Politkovskaya has been apparently killed by the state. "Russia is unquestionably a dangerous place for journalists — less so than only Iraq and Algeria, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Thirteen of them have been killed since Mr. Putin came to power in 2000, a little more than two a year on average." (nyt)
"...Ms. Politkovskaya's killing was the third mob-style assassination of prominence in the last month alone." (nyt)
The Committee to Protect Journalists asks Putin to take responsibility for the killing.
The latest NYT headlines are, "In a Risky Place to Gather News, a Very Familiar Story" and "Slain Reporter’s Last Story Bares Chechen Torture"
"She was threatened, jailed, forced into exile, and poisoned during her career, CPJ research shows." (cpj)
"Her final article, a column under the headline “We Declare You a Terrorist,” presented allegations of the use of torture to exact confessions and manufacture good news from the war." (nyt)
The Guardian UK headline focuses on the unresponsiveness of Europe to the murder, "West's muted response speaks volumes"
"Mr Tuomioja's [The foreign minister of Finland's] public anger contrasted sharply with the German government's reaction. It initially declined to make any comment at all, although the issue was raised during Mr Putin's visit to Dresden today.
Angela Merkel's conservative government is busy designing a new Ostpolitik or "east politics"modeleded on former West German chancellor Willy Brandt's opening to the Communist bloc. As a prime German export market and energy supplier, and a key interlocutor on Iran and North Korea, post-Soviet Russia is now too important to offend and too big to ignore." (guk)
The Telegraph.co.uk headline reads, "Putin faces 'murderer' taunt as journalist is buried"
"I did not know Anna personally but when I heard of the murder I got very scared," said Alexander Glushenko, a nuclear physicist who recently wrote a book about his experiences of containing the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. "I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that now anyone who writes the truth can be killed." (tcuk)
For a realistic (yet fictional) account of what it's like for a person of conscience to live with the threat of being poisoned or murdered by the state in Russia, read the Shostakovich passages of William T. Vollmann's Europe Central.
Other stories of journalists being murdered, and a journalist currently being detained (and most likely tortured) by the US, can be found on the Committee to Protect Journalists website.
[Committee to Protect Journalists, New York Times, Guardian UK, Telegraph.co.uk]
[via Activate, World News Filtered by Flavorpill 17]