US State Department expresses concern about extrajudicial killings in Chechnya
On the 11th Anniversary of the Death of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the US State Department once again urges Russia to identify the person who ordered her assassination and expresses concern about information on extrajudicial killings and persecution of gays in the Chechen Republic.
The United States once again urge the Russian authorities to identify and prosecute the person who ordered the murder of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The corresponding statement was published on the U.S. Department of State’s official site on the 11th anniversary of her murder.
"Eleven years ago renowned journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and killed in her Moscow apartment building. We continue to urge Russian authorities to identify and prosecute the person or persons who ordered, planned, and funded this terrible crime," the statement says.
In the message, the US authorities recall the merits of the deceased journalist in her fight against human rights violations in Russia, and in particular, in the North Caucasus. The U.S. Department of State is concerned about the recent reports of repressions against the LGBT community and extrajudicial executions in the Chechen Republic, which, according to the State Dept, indicate that human rights violations are still regularly committed in this region.
To recall, in July, Memorial Human Rights Center confirmed the detention and the subsequent disappearance of 13 out of 27 Chechens, whom Novaya Gazeta had previously called victims of mass executions by Chechen security forces in January 2017. Earlier, a number of publications had reported on mass detentions and torture of the Chechen LGBT community representatives, as well as several homicides of gays.
The unsolved murder of Politkovskaya, who had dual citizenship (the US and Russia), and other Russian journalists, as well as threats against press representatives exposing human rights violations in Chechnya "have only worsened an atmosphere of intimidation for the independent press," it is concluded in the statement.
To recall, correspondent for Novaya Gazeta Anna Politkovskaya was killed on October 7, 2006 outside an apartment building on Lesnaya Street in Moscow. Police officers found a Makarov pistol and four cartridges next to the body.
In May 2014, the court found Lom-Ali Gaytukaev guilty of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Intermediary in the organization of crime, former police officer Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, was sentenced to 20 years in a colony, and the brothers who perpetrated the murder and followed Politkovskaya – Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov – were sentenced to 12 and 14 years, respectively.
Earlier, another defendant in the criminal case was also convicted – former policeman Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, who pleaded guilty. In 2012, he was sentenced to 11 years in a colony. However, the assassination's paymasters have yet to be identified.