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Lantos Lauds Russian Publisher for Collection of Politkovskaya Works

Jun 1, 2007
Press Release

June 1, 2007

Washington, DC -- U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today sent a letter to Dmitriy Muratov, editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, praising the publication of a collection of articles and commentary by Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya,

"Anna Politkovskaya's admirers and friends in the United States - including many in the U.S. Congress - are still stung by her brutal murder, which signaled ominously an escalation of attacks on human rights defenders and critics of Russian policies in Chechnya," Lantos wrote.

Politkovskaya was a scourge of the current powers in the Kremlin and she uncovered corruption and neglect in the highest levels of the government. She wrote frequently and critically about Russia's conflict with Chechnya. She was shot to death at age 48 last year in her home in Moscow. Her case, along with several other recent instances of journalists' deaths in Russia, remains unresolved.

"Ms. Politkovskaya was likely killed by those who want to extinguish the growth of democracy and freedom in Russia," Lantos said. "We will labor to keep Anna's legacy alive by watching events in Russia and Chechnya with the same vigilance and steely determination Anna applied to her reporting."

Lantos, who is also the founding co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, has frequently called upon President Vladimir Putin to reverse the trend under his rule of cracking down on freedom of expression in Russia and to loosen the ever-tightening government control of the news media.

Here is the entire text of his letter:

 

Dmitriy Muratov

 

Editor-in-Chief, Novaya Gazeta

3 Potapovskiy per.

Moscow, Centre

101990, Russia

June 1, 2007

Dear Dmitriy:

I am pleased to learn that you are now offering to the world a bound collection of articles and commentary by the brave Anna Politkovskaya. Anna's admirers and friends in the United States - including many in the U.S. Congress - are still stung by her brutal murder, which signaled ominously an escalation of attacks on human rights defenders and critics of Russian policies in Chechnya. Ms. Politkovskaya was likely killed by those who want to extinguish the growth of democracy and freedom in Russia. We will labor to keep Anna's legacy alive by watching events in Russia and Chechnya with the same vigilance and steeled determination Anna applied to her reporting.

With much respect and admiration,

Tom Lantos

Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs