Today, 7th October, we remember Anna Politkovskaya, her courage to speak out, for which she paid with her life. Anna’s killing 12 years ago was an attempt to rob her of her voice, but in vain, as her words and memory continue to live on. We call, once again, on the Russian Government to identify those who ordered her killing and bring them to justice.
In honour of Anna, RAW in WAR awarded the 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award to two courageous women, who like Anna, speak out and defy injustice, violence and extremism in conflict, despite the threats against them.The winners are Binalakshmi Nepram, a brave indigenous human rights defender and author from the state of Manipur, on the Indo-Myanmar border area, and Svetlana Alexievich, a couragous writer and investigative journalist from Belarus and 2015 Nobel Prize winner in literature.
In remembering what Anna stood for, RAW in WAR paid special tribute to 400 Rohingya women survivors of violence at the hands of Myanmar’s security forces, who organized themselves in the camps of Bangladesh to form the organization, Shanti Mohila [Peace Women], and joined together to demand justice for themselves and all survivors of violence from Myanmar.
On the 12thanniversary of Anna’s murder, today, the 2018 award winners wrote “Letter to Anna”, which will be printed by Anna’s paper in Moscow, “Novaya Gazeta”, tomorrow. In her letter, Svetlana Alexievich wrote: “We really need you, Anna! [Need] your belief, that it is not hatred, but love for humanity that will save us.”
Today we remember Anna and celebrate her life by amplifying the voices of these brave women and many more from war and conflict zones, who are refusing to be silenced, who are risking their lives to seek and tell the truth, just like Anna Politkovskaya did. #RefusingToBeSilenced