Europe urges nations to find those behind journalists' murders

5th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Council of Europe on Wednesday urged countries with murdered journalists to find those who ordered the killings, citing the five year-old case of Russia's Anna Politkovskaya.

"There have been trials or investigations starting, and in some cases, the killers were identified," said Thomas Hammarberg, the human rights commissioner at the pan-European human rights and cultural body.

"But this is not sufficient, there is a need also to clarify who were behind these contract killings," he said during a conference organised five years after Politkovskaya was gunned down in broad daylight in Moscow.

"There should be a total clarity about who were behind these attacks," he said, also highlighting the 2000 murder of Ukraine's Georgy Gongadze and the 2007 killing of Hrant Dink, a journalist of Armenian origin in Turkey.

Russia on Friday will mark five years since Politkovskaya, who tirelessly chronicled rights abuses in Chechnya, was shot in her apartment building in central Moscow, one of the most brazen assassinations of former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's era.

The investigation into her killing has been long, complicated and tortuous and although former senior police officer Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was charged last month with helping organise the murder, Politkovskaya's relatives and supporters say that it is still unclear who ordered the killing.

© 2011 AFP

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