Monday, October 09, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya Defended Kidnap and Torture Victims in Her Final Interview

"I dream of [Ramzan Kadyrov] someday sitting in the dock, in a trial that meets the strictest legal standards, with all of his crimes listed and investigated."---Anna Politkovskaya

Oleg Panfilov, the director of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, "I have absolutely no doubt that the murder is in some way linked to the Chechen issue...Who commissioned the murder, who could benefit from Anna Politkovskaya's death? I think these questions will be answered by an independent investigation. I stress, an independent investigation, because over the past 10 or 12 years, not a single murder of a journalist linked to his or her professional activities has been solved." [Full text]

On October 5, 2006, just two days before she was murdered, Politkovskaya told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty her views about a man she called "a Stalin of our times," Chechnya's Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov:

"Right now I have two photographs on my desk. I am conducting an investigation about torture today in Kadyrov's prisons, today and yesterday. These are people who were abducted by the Kadyrovtsi [members of Kadyrov's personal militia] for completely inexplicable reasons and who died. They died as part of a PR campaign."

"I plan to say that these people who were abducted, whose photographs are on my desk, these people -- one of them is Russian, the other is Chechen -- were made to look as though they were fighters who battled against the Kadyrovtsi in the village of Aleroi. It's a well-known story, one that was all over our TV screens, on the radio, in the newspapers, when Kadyrov gave an interview before TV cameras from state and other channels with bodies in the background. But in fact these were people whom they had seized, had 'disappeared' for some time, and were then killed."....

"[C]riminal cases have been launched against the Kadyrovtsi and Kadyrov personally on the basis of three articles published by our newspaper. I myself am a witness in one of these cases. These cases are about abductions, including one criminal case about the abduction of two people carried out with the participation of Ramzan Akhmedovich Kadyrov." [Full text]

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