am a pariah. This is how Anna Politkovskaya defines herself in the beginning of a posthumous article published by The Guardian on October 14th, 2006. Seven days before, on October 7th, around 5 pm, she was murdered in her flat in still non-clarified circumstances. Her death occurred while she was working on an article dealing with torture in Chechnya. Anna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist born in 1958 from a healthy family, whose father was a diplomat. I was a girl from a diplomatic family, a reader, a bit of a swot; I didn't know life at all." She became a journalist under the communist regime, which enabled her to travel throughout the country. Indeed, journalists were provided with an authorization to circulate freely in the country, which was something exceptional under the communist regime. During the period of Perestroika, Anna Politkovskaya switched to the independent press.
[...] Politkovskaya's life, work, and death may stand for the fate of Russians struggling for that Human Rights and freedom of speech to be respected in their country. Being a woman, a brilliant journalist, and a specialist of the Chechen country, who liked field work, she became a symbol of the anti-Putin's dissidence. Her professional experience contains all conceivable elements of attempts to intimidate her and obstruct her work. But it also emphasizes the recognition both from the international community, which awarded her mainly, and from the top officials, who kept on giving her information, even when it implied hiding and risking to be discredited. [...]
[...] A life of secrecy and hidings, abruptly ended in mysterious circumstances: In spite of all attempts of obstruction from the government, A. Politkovskaya had become a very influent journalist in the end of her life. She therefore managed to get interviews and information from high officers, top political personalities, who would talk to her. This however occurred only in secret, from fear of reprisals. She explained in an article how officials like[d] talking to [her]. „They are happy to give me information. [...]
[...] And then it's, And they start their full coverage up again.” impossible to talk on the one hand about the monstrous scale of victims in Chechnya and the spawning of terrorism and then lay out the red carpet, embrace Putin and tell him: 'We're with you, you're the best.' That shouldn't be happening.” Her work of testimony also consisted in the redaction of many books like Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy (2004), where she depicts a Russia where Human Rights are constantly derided; A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya (collective book, 2002), or The Dirty War (2004). [...]
[...] II) A and an whose life questions the existence of freedom of speech in Russia An enemy of the government: A Politkovskaya described herself as pariah, an enemy”. She was kept at distance by officials, and was not invited to press conferences or Kremlin gatherings, like other journalists. She had been expressively designated as a danger for Russian state, because she was not “amenable to re-education”. Indeed, „Some time ago Vladislav Surkov, deputy head of the presidential administration, explained that there were people who were enemies but whom you could talk sense into, and there were incorrigible enemies into whom you couldn't and who simply needed to be "cleansed" from the political arena. [...]
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