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Russia: New trials for 4 accused of involvement in murder of human rights defender and journalist Ana Politkovskaya
On 25 June 2008, the Supreme Court of Russian Federation overturned the acquittal of the for men accused of involvement in the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. The decision to conduct a new trial highlights the difficulties faced by the Russian judicial system in investigating the murders and attacks on human rights defenders and journalists and the failure of the authorities to bring the intellectual and actual authors of such crimes to justice.
Further InformationA climate of impunity currently prevails in Russia for those who have carried out grave human rights violations whilst the relatives of victims or human rights defenders who seek to bring these perpetrators to justice are instead persecuted.
Independent journalists are particularly vulnerable and several such journalists have been killed in recent years.
"The Government of the Russian Federation has an obligation to take effective action to ensure that human rights defenders are able to go about their legitimate work without the risk of arrest or intimidation" said Mary Lawlor, Director of Front Line in Dublin. "The seriousness of their intentions to deliver justice will be judged on the strength of their commitment to fully investigate the killing of Ana Politkovskaya, and other journalists, and bring the perpetrators to justice", said Ms Lawlor.