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Russians remember slain reporter
Kremlin urged to punish killers on third anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya's murder.
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2009 04:40 GMT
Three years on, Anna Politkovskaya's killers have
still not been brought to book [AFP] 

Hundreds of peoople have rallied on the third anniversary of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya to demand that the authorities find and punish the killers of journalists in Russia.

A well-known journalist, Politkovskaya was a harsh critic of the Kremlin. Her reports exposed widespread human-rights abuses and corruption in Chechnya.

Prosecutors have said little about who might have ordered the contract-style killing of her on October 7, 2006. The suspected gunman is said to be in hiding abroad while three men accused of playing minor roles in the killing remain under investigation.

Since Politkovskaya's death, at least seven journalists and human rights activists have been killed in Russia, including one who wrote for the same newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.

Some of Russia's most prominent human rights activists and opposition leaders took part in a Moscow rally - which began with a minute's silence at the same time Politkovskaya was shot outside her apartment building three years ago.

'Lack of political will'

Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister and now a leader of the opposition, said the authorities were incapable of solving such crimes.

"Even the most honest investigator cannot solve the crime because the government won't let him."

Dmitry Muratov, the editor of Politkovskaya's newspaper, agreed. "There is a political will not to solve the murders", he told the crowd that had gathered in a park on Wednesday.

The demonstration was heavily policed, and the authorities had forbidden a gathering of more than 350 people.

Neither Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, nor Vladimir Putin, the current prime minister who was president when Politkovskaya was killed, commented about her death on the anniversary.

Stalin's grandson

Meanwhile, Politkovskaya's paper is being sued by Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, Stalin's grandson.

He contests the paper's claims that Stalin personally signed the death warrants of countless Soviet civilians among the millions who perished under his government.

Though widely reviled in the West, Stalin still has his admirers in Russia where the modern-day Communist Party continues to revere him as a great revolutionary who transformed the USSR into a superpower and defeated the Nazis.

Source:
Agencies
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