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Tilting at Windmills? The European Response to Violations of Media Freedom in Russia

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Chapter Summary

The gunshot that finished the life of the famous journalist and human-rights defender Anna Politkovskaia, was not only a disastrous event for the journalistic community in Russia but, also, an alarming shot for many European organizations. The activities of NGOs that had been fighting for media freedom for several years, in 2006 governmental organizations were also finally woken up. Immediately after the murder, the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe (CoE) sent letters of appeal to the Russian government asking for a thorough investigation of the murder and reminding the Russian authorities of their obligation to promote freedom of expression. The response of the Russian authorities is remarkable: instead of mourning the death of a critical journalist and promising to improve the situation of the press in Russia, President Vladimir Putin tried to downplay the importance of Anna Politkovskaia.

Keywords: Anna Politkovskaia; Council of Europe (CoE); journalistic community; media freedom; President Vladimir Putin; Russia



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