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Anna Politkovskaya was an outstanding woman, devoted writer, and Human Rights activist. On October 7th 2006, a group of cowards assassinated her because they were afraid to face the truth. She was murdered because she exposed the crimes of the Russian government. Throughout the years Politkovskaya had been tracked down, followed, and investigated but that did not discourage her. Even after several failed assassination attempts, she kept going because she knew that she possessed a gift that was no match for the Russian government. She had the gift of writing, and wrote about the facts. Anna revealed the secrets that government tried kept hidden, and exposed their evil deeds. Even though her life was at stake she never gave up, she knew that it was her duty to keep the world informed. The world will never forget her. We salute Anna Politkovskaya.

Eagle / www.JusticeForNorthCaucasus.Com Updated October 9th 2006

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Disquiet On The Chechen Front

posted by Justice For North Caucasus - Anna Politkovskaya. on January, 2005 as Anna Politkovskaya

Disquiet On The Chechen Front
Anna Politkovskaya, Russia
Anna Politkovskaya, a correspondent for the Moscow biweekly Novaya Gazeta, was in Los Angeles last October, picking out her dress for a media awards ceremony, when some staggering news came from Moscow: Chechen terrorists were holding 850 hostages in a theater. The Russian authorities tried to send in negotiators, but the Chechens refused to see most of them. They asked for Politkovskaya.
And so Politkovskaya rushed back to cover yet another episode of one of the world's nastiest and longest wars, which this time had shifted to Moscow. The terrorists, she says, "wanted someone who would accurately report things as they were. My work in Chechnya makes people there feel that I don't lie. But there wasn't much I could do for the hostages anyway." She carried water and fruit juice to them, and reported their dejection and feelings of doom to the world. Two days later, Russian special forces stormed and gassed the theater, killing 41 terrorists and 129 hostages.
Politkovskaya, 44, made her name by writing detailed, accurate and vivid reports on the plight of the civilian population in Chechnya, caught in the horrors of war since 1994. She tells stories of people who are taken from their homes at night and never come back; about extrajudicial executions; about the hungry refugees in cold and damp camps. "It was the refugee problem that started it," she now recalls. When the second Chechen war began in 1999, tens of thousands of refugees began flooding the makeshift relief camps. "It was horrible to stand among the refugees in the field in October 1999, and see cruise missiles flying over your head," she recalls.
When those missiles hit a market in Grozny, it was only prompt coverage by journalists like Politkovskaya that forced the Russian commanders to let ambulances in and refugees out. "Our work is a lever to help people as much as we can," she believes. But it also causes trouble. In February 2000, the FSB (the former KGB) arrested Politkovskaya in the Vedeno district of Chechnya. They kept her in a pit for three days without food or water. "It was important not to let them kill me on the first day," she says. A year later, a Russian officer whose war crimes Politkovskaya had exposed threatened to kill her. Novaya Gazeta had to hide her in Austria for a while. The officer is now awaiting trial on charges of war crimes committed in Chechnya that Politkovskaya was the first to report. "But I don't feel victorious," she says. "I only feel that we're all involved in a great tragedy."
Her editors have had to stand up to pressure from the Kremlin, which is often infuriated by her reporting. Novaya Gazeta balances on the brink of forcible closure. "Well, it goes with the job," she shrugs. Politkovskaya has long since learned to keep her anxieties in check. As she arranges yet another trip to Chechnya, she may now be too famous to be targeted by the FSB. But she really doesn't think about such things. "If you don't have the strength to control your emotions, you're of no help to the people who are in such shock and pain. You only add to their burden," she says.
On April 28, 2003 in issue #30 of "The Novaya Gazeta" there appeared the article "Who Remains Alive" written by an observer of the newspaper Anna Politkovskaya. It states that the hijacking of the Theater Center at Dubrovka was, at least, controlled by the Russian special services. Anna Politkovskaya managed to meet Khanpash Terkibaev who claimed to have been a member of the terrorist group. He also claimed to have followed orders of some special service. In April 2003 Terkibaev was a member of the Russian delegation at the European Council as a "representative of the Chechen public". At present Terkibaev is a special correspondent of "The Russian newspaper". Terkibaev's name was in the list of the members of Baraev's group that had been published by "The Izvestia" not long before the the Theater Center assault held by the special forces. According to Anna Politkovskaya, "The Novaya Gazeta" has got some other evidence that Terkibaev was among terrorists.
Taking into account that all the terrorists who could have given the evidence of the exclusive importance to investigate the terrorist act and to find out the people behind the group, were shot dead by the police special forces during the Theater Center assault, that was committed in spite of the fact that the majority of the terrorists were under the influence of some poisoning gas and thus were absolutely defenseless at the time of the assault, we consider Anna Politkovskaya's version of the terrorist act more than probable.
It goes without doubt, that the information reported by Politkovskaya is both of the great public importance and of the exclusive importance for the national safety of the Russian Federation. "The Novaya Gazeta" has appealed to the General Procurator Office of the Russian Federation to investigate the information tackled in the article. The chairman of the All-Russia social movement "For the Human Rights" Lev Ponomaryov, the manager of the museum and The Social Center named after A.D.Sakhsrov Yury Samodurov and the writer Alexander Tkachenko have demanded the same.
There has been no respond from the Russian authorities yet to the social appeals of the leaders of the Russian human rights movement. The General Procurator Office has done nothing they should have done to check the information tackled in the article. They have interrogated neither Anna Politkovskaya nor Khanpash Terkibaev; they have not demanded "The Novaya Gazeta" to put at their disposal all the additional information concerning the case that was received in the course of the journalist investigation whereas as it goes from a number of publications the editors of the newspaper have it at their disposal. The silence is kept by all the branches of power from the president and his administration that seem to pay no attention to the severe accusations against them and to the so-called "groups of opposition" in the State Duma that have not even tried to start the process of the parliamentary investigation. The silence is kept by the majority of mass media. And what is worse the silence is kept be the Russian society.
The passiveness of the law-enforcement structures and the silence of the official power in connection with both the present situation and the "Ryazan training" accident of 1999 when some members of the FSB were first detained on a charge of a terrorist act and then released, confirms the gravest suspicion that the Russian special forces must have been involved into planning and carrying out the terrorist act at Dubrovka and the explosion of dwelling houses in some cities of Russia in autumn of 1999.
We think that the President of the Russian Federation has no longer any moral right to head the Russian state as we have to establish a fact that he was either involved into preparing that "controlled terrorist act" or isn't able to control neither Russian special forces nor his own nearest circle of advises and consequently the situation in the country.
We also think that the Russian political spectrum lacks the really democratic opposition and that all the parliamentary groups claiming themselves the opposition are free to move as little as the Kremlin allows them.
To sum it up, all what is going on confirms the old idea that there is no public society in Russia able to influence the situation in the country. And it makes it possible for the Russian authorities to use terrorism as their political method to reach their own political aims contradictory to the interests of the Russian society, to the safety of the citizens and the state.
We appeal to all the people who are not indifferent to the fate of the country, to the future it is going to have, to everybody who has not lost the feeling of self-protection and worries about their children's and their own safety. The time has come not only to express the attitude to the so-called ruling elite and their policy that is getting more and more alike an endless special operation. It is necessary to do our best to deprive those who come from the secret service with the present president as their head of the possibility to make their political capital on their co-citizens' blood. It is necessary to do our outmost to make them leave for ever. Being realists and understanding that our voice is hardly to be heard and that the country is going to face the dictatorship, we consider it our moral obligation to make our position known.
Co-chairmen of the Society for the Russian-Chechen Friendship
Stanislav Dmitrievsky,
Imran Ezhiev.

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