Five years ago today, our friend and the first recipient of the Anna Politkovskaya Award, Natalia Estemirova (or Natasha as we called her among friends) was abducted and murdered in Chechnya.
Until today, nobody has been brought to justice for this crime, committed in broad daylight, despite DNA of the possible perpetrators and other evidence at hand. Five years on, and despite repeated assurances by the Russian authorities to investigate all leads into her murder, the investigation is not moving forward.
Natalia's selfless work to end human rights violations and to seek justice for the crimes committed in Chechnya, continue to inspire us. Natalia Estemirova fought against injustice and exposed the truth about atrocities in Chechnya. For this she paid with her life. Her work on behalf of the victims of the war in Chechnya, her condemnation of abuses against the Chechen people and her commitment to seeking the truth despite the danger to her life, are an example of true human spirit.
We at RAW in WAR are outraged and saddened that the authorities have failed so far to identify those who killed Natalia and those, who stand behind her murder. In May 2014, a jury at the Moscow City Court found five men guilty of organizing and committing the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. However, while the killers of Anna have been convicted, those who ordered the murder are still at large.
Today, we call for justice for Natalia’s murder. In addition, we call for respect and for protection of human rights defenders in Chechnya and elsewhere in the Russian Federation. Those, who follow in the footsteps of Natalia are increasingly accused of being "foreign agents", “unpatriotic” and they are presented as “making money from other people’s misery”. Regrettably, this campaign of intimidation against human rights defenders, steered by the government, does give us little reason to hope that the authorities will protect human rights defenders and ensure justice for crimes committed against them.
We continue to call on the Russian Government to stop the campaign against human rights defenders and to support their work in the name of Natalia Estemirova, Anna Politkovskaya and others like them, who lost their lives while defending human rights.We will continue to re-print our open letter from 15 July 2009 , the day Natalia was abducted and killed, until justice is done.
Justice will be done only when those who ordered Anna Politkovskaya's murder are brought to account
RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) is concerned that while the killers of human rights journalist Anna Politkovskaya have been convicted, those who ordered the murder are still at large.
On 20 May, a jury at the Moscow City Court found five men guilty of organizing and committing the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Anna's family and their lawyers have expressed respect for the jury's decision but are still waiting to hear why Anna was killed, and for those who stand behind her murder to be identified and brought to justice.
RAW in War joins Anna's family and colleagues in their call for justice for Anna. Anna spoke truth to power and we are convinced that she was killed to silence her. To reveal the whole truth, the authorities need to identify the people who paid for the killing and who ordered Anna's murder.
RAW in WAR continues to campaign for justice for Anna and for Natalia Estemirova, the first recipient of the Anna Politkovskaya Award, who was also brutally abducted and killed in 2009 in Chechnya to silence her human rights work. If their murders go unsolved, impunity for those who committed the human rights violations they exposed will prevail.
RAW in WAR in partnership with Human Rights Watch Film Festival
RAW in WAR are pleased to anounce, we will be presenting 'For those who can tell no tales', a film by Jasmila Zbanicat this year's Human Rights Watch Film Festival. The film will be presented at London's Barbican at 7pm on the 23rd of March and at Ritzy in Brixton at 9pm on 24th March. To find out more about the screenings and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2014, click here.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FILM:
Jasmila Zbanic's For Those Who Can Tell No Tales follows an Australian tourist as she discovers the silent legacy of wartime atrocities in a seemingly idyllic town on the border of Bosnia and Serbia. On a summer holiday through Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kym is the picture of an average tourist: visiting the sites promoted in her guidebook and keeping a video diary. Yet her stay at a hotel in Visegrad inexplicably gives way to anxiety and sleepless nights. Upon returning home to Australia, she finds out that the Vilina Vlas hotel was used as a rape camp during the war. Questions around the region's atrocities begin to haunt her, as does the question of why the guidebook, or the town itself, made no mention of the event. The testimonies she later finds online compel her to return to Visegrad and investigate this hidden history for herself.
Join us at WOW Festival 2014
We are pleased to announce that RAW in WAR will be involved in the 2014 WOW (Women of the World) Festival at London's Southbank Centre onFriday 7th March and Saturday 8th March 2014.
The fourth WOW Festival will be taking place from Wednesday 5th - Sunday 9th of March, bringing together talks, debates, performances and activism celebrating women and girls. The festival will feature voices from around the world, including Vivienne Westwood, Harriet Harman, Dr Helen Pankhurst and the winner of the 2014 Anna Politkovskaya Award, Malala Yousafzai.
On Friday 7th March, join us for the panel discussion 'Activism Without Borders'(11.30 am – 1pm) at Queen Elizabeth Hall. What can UK based activists learn from their international sisters? Australian writer and feminist Anne Summers, co-founder of anti-FGM campaigning group Daughters of Eve Nimco Ali, Judy Kosgei, winner of the Thompson Foundation Young Journalist Prize, and Mariana Katzarova, founder ofRAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR), discuss global campaigns and grass roots activism, lobbying policy makers, and what success would look like. Chaired by Jessica Horn from the African Feminist Forum.
This year RAW in WAR is delighted to be hosting a panel on Saturday 8th March,'Refusing to be Silenced', bringing together international women of courage, who stand for human rights and justice in war and conflict zones around the world, including winners of the RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award. The panel will be hosted by RAW in WAR founderMariana Katzarova and will include Elena Kudimova, Anna Politkovskaya's sister, Mariam Suleiman(Darfur), Founder and Chair of The Voice of Darfur Women; Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News International Editor and Lyse Doucet, BBC Chief International Correspondent, who were close friends of Marie Colvin (2012 Anna Politkovskaya Award winner, who was killed while covering the war in Syria), Masih Alinejad(Iran), a journalist persecuted for exposing government corruption (One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality in Iran was the 2009 Anna Politkovskaya Award Winner);Reem Rashad (Syria), an activist from the Violation Documentation Centre (VDC) and sister of Razan Zaitouneh (2011 Award winner, kidnapped in Syria); and LydiaCacho(Mexico), a journalist who exposed child sex trafficking by the powerful elite and suffered torture and death threats. Renowned Celtic singer/ songwriter LorraineJordanwill perform “Anna’s Song”, dedicated to Anna Politkovskaya.
The panel will be taking place at The Front Room of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 8th of March 2014 between 12-1pm. You can purchase tickets for both panels HEREfor £12, giving you access to plenty of other events taking place at the WOW Festival during the 7th and 8th of March. For more information about the events in the WOW Festival please see the full programme.
We hope you can join us!!
RAW in WAR is looking for a Coordinator
Coordinator - RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) (This position has now been filled)
1 day per week (flexible), part-time, paid (£350 per month, £20,800 pro-rata)
Position Based in London, UK.
Overview of Position
The Coordinator plays an essential role in the 'day-to-day' running of the organisation, working directly with RAW in WAR board members on project related matters, development, fundraising, promotion, website updates, social media and being the primary coordinator of the Anna Politkovskaya Award held every October. This is an ideal opportunity for a candidate interested in the human rights field who wishes to gain experience and be part of a unique and exciting NGO.
Although this is not a full time role, flexibility is required, especially in the run up to the Anna Politkovskaya Award event where extra days of work on either side of the award (fully paid) will be required including the occasional evenings and weekends.