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Freedom of Expression in Russia

Anna Politkovskaya
Anna Politkovskaya

Over the last few years Russia has suffered a severe crackdown on freedom of expression. Among the best publicized and brutal examples of this repression have been the murder of the outspoken journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, which is still not fully resolved. Another well-known example is the prosecution and arrest of the music/art group Pussy Riot for performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral. President Putin’s political opponents, as well as human rights groups and activists, are being constantly persecuted and silenced.

In response to these repressive measures, Amnesty International has undertaken a new campaign, Rights in Russia, to defend free expression in Russia. Group 11 is participating through letters urging the US Secretary of State to sensitize Russian authorities, as well as international bodies on two major issues. The first is to reveal and prosecute those who ordered Ms. Politkovskaya’s murder. The second is to halt the prosecution of journalists, such as Lena Klimova, for defending the rights of teenagers regarding their sexual orientation.

Rights in Russia demands accountability and defends freedom of expression. Anna Politkovskaya’s fearless coverage of human rights abuses in Chechnya requires that those who ordered her assassination be brought to justice. Lena Klimova must be supported in her journalistic work on behalf of LGBTI teenagers in Russia. Letters written to government officials and organizations by Group 11 members and others who advocate for human rights provide a beacon of light and assurance to journalists who continue in the tradition of human rights reporting.