Letter to the Editor of The Sunday
Times and Novaya Gazeta
7 October 2012
Sir, Today marks the sixth anniversary of the
murder of the Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. To date,
the killers and those who ordered her
murder have still not been brought to justice.
We the undersigned are
supporters of the human rights organisation RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in
War). On Friday 5 October, we presented the
annual Anna Politkovskaya Award, set
up to recognise women defending human rights in zones of war and conflict, often at great personal
risk, to Marie Colvin (The United
States), the brave Sunday Times war correspondent, who was killed in Syria.
We presented this year’s award to
Marie Colvin for her courage, integrity and passion to give a voice to the
women, children and communities blighted by the violence and horrors of
conflict and war. Marie reported from some of the worse conflict zones
Sierra Leone, Chechnya, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, East Timor and from the heart of the
Arab Spring. She was killed on 22 February 2012 in Syria, while bringing to the
world the truth about the targeting and killing of civilians by the government.
She spoke truth to power. Just like Anna did and paid for it with her
Like Anna, Marie did much
more than simply reporting the story of violence. In East Timor, in 1999, she
was credited with saving the lives of 1,500 women and children besieged by
Indonesian-backed forces. While other international journalists left, she
refused to leave until the group was evacuated to safety four days later.
It came as no surprise that
Marie defied the Syrian authorities ban on foreign reporters, in order to
ensure that the world would hear about the massacres of civilians that continue
there to this day. Marie lost her life, when the Syrian government army shelled
the building she and other journalists used as a makeshift media centre.
As the situation in Syria is getting worse
by the day, we also honour the many Syrian women journalists and human rights
defenders, like last year’s award winner Razan Zaitouneh, who despite the
danger they are facing, continue to speak out about the brutality currently
facing the people of Syria....
To read the full Statement click here.
The Statement is signed by members of the Committee of Supporters to the Anna Politkovskaya Award:
Women’s Initiative (Mairead Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Betty
Williams, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman, Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf), Tatiana Yankelevich, Desmond Tutu, Jon Snow, Jane Wellesley, John
Pilger, Jeremy Bowen, Andre Glucksmann, Gloria Steinem, Sergey Kovalyov, Alexei
Simonov, Vladimir Bukovsky, Svetlana Gannushkina, Lyudmila Alekseeva, Karinna
Moskalenko, Mara Polyakova, Malalai Joya, Halima Bashir, Leila Alikarami, Razan
Zaitouneh, Gillian Slovo, Eva Hoffman, Adam Michnik, Oleg Panfilov, Oleg Orlov,
Ella Polyakova, Tom Stoppard.... to read the full list click here.