On Tuesday, five men were convicted of murdering Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian investigative journalist.
In 2006, Politkovskaya was found dead with two gunshots in the chest, one in her shoulder, and one in the head.
Of the five men who were convicted, three had already been acquitted in a previous trial. According to reports, Politkovskaya was documenting human rights violations that were happening in the province of Chechnya. She was shot to death in the elevator of her apartment building.
Politkovskaya’s murder sparked worldwide attention and people are questioning the press’ freedom of speech under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin.
Reach All Women in War or RAW in WAR, a human rights organization, started giving out the “Anna Politkovskaya Award” in 2007. Each year, they give the award to women who fight for human rights in a conflict zone, and who “like Anna, stands up for the victims of this conflict, often at great personal risk.”
In a previous trial, the three men were acquitted. The Supreme Court later threw out the acquittal, which resulted in a new trial. The defendants were three Chechen brothers, their uncle, and a former police officer. When the three men were acquitted, a lawyer for Politkovskaya’s family said that the murder of the journalist will only be solved once the one who ordered her killing has been named.
In 2008, reports said that Politkovskaya’s murder may have been ordered by someone who works for the Russian government. Case notes pointed to a politician who was not named.
The jury found Rustam Makhmudov as the gunman, and the four men as accomplices to the crime.
Ilya Politkovsky, Politkovskaya’s son, said, “We agree with the verdict, but this is only a small part of those who are guilty in the crime.”
The five men will appear in court at a later date for their sentencing. Reports say that all five of them could face life in prison. The mens' lawyers said that they would appeal.
Image via Wikimedia Commons