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Russian Investigators Criticize Ministry Statement On Politkovskaya Case

Anna Politkovskaya
A spokesman of Russia’s Investigative Committee has told journalists that the Interior Ministry prematurely issued a statement regarding an investigation into the 2006 murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Vladimir Markin said the Interior Ministry had nothing to do with the committee's investigation and, therefore, should not be making any statements about the case.

The Interior Ministry said earlier on April 16 that an investigation into the case would be resolved very soon, as "some positive changes have been achieved in the investigations."

Politkovskaya, who worked for the independent "Novaya gazeta" newspaper, mainly focused her investigative reporting on the human rights situation in Russia's volatile Chechen Republic in the North Caucasus.

She was shot dead and found in her apartment block in October 2006.

Politkovskaya's son, Ilya, said on April 16 that he was not aware of any "positive changes" in the investigation.

"Novaya gazeta" chief editor Dmitry Muratov said the ministry statement was similar to others that assured a breakthrough in the case that never happened.

In a statement issued to mark the fifth anniversary of Politkovskaya's death last year, the human rights group Amnesty International said that "little progress" had been made to "increase the safety of journalists or human rights defenders who dare to expose abuses or challenge authority in Russia."

The statement said that unless such critical voices received the recognition and protection they need, "corruption, the abuse of power, and human rights violations will continue to flourish" in Russia.

The press freedom group Committee To Protect Journalists noted at the time that at least 19 journalists had been murdered in Russia in suspected retaliation for their work since 2000.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS