Today, we pay tribute to the memory of Anna Politkovskaya, the Novaya Gazeta journalist and internationally recognised Russian defender of human rights, who spoke out against violence and injustice and continued her journalistic work despite repeated intimidations, including a mock execution and poisoning attempt
On 7 October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead at her apartment building in central Moscow. Her case remains unresolved. In 2018, the European Court of Human Rights found that the Russian State had failed in its obligation to adequately investigate the crime. The Court found in particular that while the authorities had found and convicted a group of individuals who had directly carried out the contract killing of Ms Politkovskaya, they had not taken adequate investigatory steps to find the person or persons who had commissioned the murder.
We call on the Russian government to ensure that all those responsible for Anna Politkovskaya’s assassination are brought to justice through an open and transparent judicial process. We expect Russia to uphold its national and international obligations within the framework of UN, OSCE and Council of Europe to protect human rights and democratic values.
This commemoration takes place at a time when independent media and civil society face unprecedented pressure from the Russian government, notably through the designation of ever more media outlets, civil society organisations, but also individual journalists and activists as “foreign agents” or “undesirable”.
The European Union will continue to push back against human rights violations and breaches of international law. We stand in solidarity with Russian civil society, human rights defenders and independent journalists and will continue to support them in their important work.