Wednesday, 7 October 2009
RWB defies Russian ban with press conference
A Reporters Without Borders press conference to mark the third anniversary of the murder of Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya has gone ahead in Moscow despite two RWB representatives, including secretary-general Jean-François Julliard, being denied visas by the Russian authorities.
Julliard said. “We wanted to be there all the more this year, as it has been a terrible one for journalists and human rights activists with the surge of violence in the North Caucasus, a region that Anna knew particularly well.
“We are shocked by this decision, especially as we have always acted openly with the Russian authorities. They decided to prevent us from expressing our solidarity with Russian journalists and human rights activists. Moscow does not want us to address the Russians directly. But we will not give up.”
Entitled “Third anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s death: the murderers of journalists still go unpunished,” the news conference went ahead as planned at the Independent Press Centre in Moscow.
Reporters Without Borders had a poster (above) entitled “Russian School of Journalism” specially produced for the anniversary in Russian, French and English. It is based on a cartoon by Danziger that was published at the time of Politkovskaya’s murder.
A total of 22 journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Russia since March 2000. Russia was ranked 141st out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.