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US Embassy urges Russia to punish those behind Politkovskaya killing

Anna Politkovskaya memorial day demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy. (Amnesty Finland/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has renewed calls on Russian authorities to bring to justice all those responsible for the 2006 killing of prominent Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

In a tweet on October 7, the 13th anniversary of Politkovskaya’s killing, the embassy said that she “was brutally murdered for her courageous reporting of social, political, and human rights issues.”

“She did what reporters do — find the truth,” it added.

A critic of President Vladimir Putin, Politkovskaya, whose dogged reporting exposed high-level corruption in Russia and rights abuses in its Chechnya region, was shot dead in her Moscow apartment building on October 7, 2006.

The murder occurred on Putin’s birthday, prompting speculation that her murder was meant as a “gift” to the president.

In 2014, two men were sentenced to life and three others to prison terms for their involvement in the crime.

Relatives and colleagues say justice will not be done until those who ordered her killing are identified and convicted.

In 2018, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia “had failed to take adequate investigatory steps to find the person or persons who had commissioned the murder.”

Politkovskaya was born in New York in 1958, the daughter of a Soviet diplomat from Ukraine.

She won numerous Russian and international awards, including an Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism in 2001, a PEN Freedom to Write award in 2002, and an Olaf Palme Prize in 2004.

In 2007, she became the first person ever to receive a posthumous UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.