Prague remembers Anna Politkovskaya
By Tomáš Vršovský
PRAGUE, Czech Republic – A public reading from a book by the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in Moscow on October 7, 2006, took place in the Czech capital on Tuesday. The event was part of an initiative organized by the Berlin-based Peter Weiss Foundation for Art and Politics, which yesterday also helped to co-ordinate similar public readings in memory of Politkovskaya in some 20 countries around the world.
The event in Prague’s Café Jericho began with a screening of the documentary film Till Death Do Us Part. The film was made by Czech war correspondents from the Epicentrum news agency, and it tells the story of a pair of journalists – the German radio reporter Gisbert Mrozek and the Russian reporter Natalya Alyakina. Alyakina was murdered by Russian soldiers near the town of Budyonnovsk on June 17, 1995, but her husband succeeded in taking the case to court, with the subsequent issuing of a sentence. The film gives a good portrayal of the dangers faced by members of the journalist profession in Russia, and also mentions the fate of other journalists who were killed in the first Chechen war.
After this, the reciter Hana Kofrankova gave a reading of moving excerpts from Anna Politkovskaya’s last book, A Russian Diary, recently published in Czech translation. In the form of diary entries Politkovskya records the significant events of Russian political and public life in recent years.
According to available reports, A Russian Diary has not yet been published in Russia. An English translation of the book will appear in April. Excerpts from it have already been published in the British newspaper The Guardian.
The event was organized by the Chechnya SOS Committee, an independent association of people who are trying to bring the suffering of ordinary people in the zone of the Chechen conflict to the attention of the Czech public and political élites.
(T,DM) RELATED ARTICLES:
· Politkovskaya Aloud (Radio Svoboda, 20.03.2007)
· Czech journalists response to Politkovskaya murder (PW, 14.10.2006)
· Remembering Anna Politkovskaya (PW, 8.10. 2006)