(Washington, DC--October 8, 2006) RFE/RL Acting President Jeffrey Trimble released the following statement in reaction to the death of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow October 7, 2006.
"I and my colleagues at RFE/RL are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Anna Politkovskaya. I also express our deepest sympathies to her family, who have lost her loving care and spirit.
"We condemn the persons who are responsible for this violent and senseless act against a journalist who worked in the best interests of the people of the Russian Federation. We call upon the Russian authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation of this crime, and to do more to ensure the safety of independent journalists in their country.
"Anna was a frequent contributor to RFE/RL's Russian-language programs; in fact, her final interview was with RFE/RL, and took place just two days before her murder. She was an honest and talented journalist, fearless and committed to uncovering the truth of a story.
"Her resoluteness earned her more than one death threat. But throughout, she retained her sense of humanity. Speaking before an audience at RFE/RL in Washington, DC, a few years ago, she said she felt a responsibility not only as a journalist, but as a citizen of Russia to help 'those who could not speak for themselves.'
"The loss of Anna Politkovskaya is a tragedy for the people of Russia; a blow to free spech, and a setback for the cause of open and honest journalism.
"We will miss her."
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Audio and a Russian-language transcript of Politkovskaya's final interview with RFE/RL, on October 5, 2006 on the Russian Service's "Press Hour" program, can be found on the Russian Service website
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