Supporters of RAW in WAR call for protection for Malala and justice for Anna
Letter to the editor
7th October 2013
Today marks the seventh 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 4 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 Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan),
the brave 16-year-old girl, who was shot by the Taliban on 9 October last year
for campaigning for education for girls, which is banned by the Taliban.
We presented this year’s award to
Malala Yousafzai for her courage in refusing to be silenced in the face of
grave danger, just like Anna Politkovskaya did, and for her passion to continue
her quest for the right of every girl and every boy around the world to receive
Malala Yousafzai grew up in the Swat Valley in northern
Pakistan with her parents and two brothers. From the age of 10, Malala has
campaigned for the right of girls to receive an education, defying the Taliban
ban on girls attending schools. Using a pseudonym, Malala wrote a blog for the
BBC describing her life under Taliban rule and her passionate belief on promoting
education for girls. In October 2012, the then 15-year-old Malala was
shot by the Taliban, while travelling home from school on the bus with her
friends. Malala gave a
voice to the women, girls and communities blighted by the violence and horrors
of conflict under the Taliban rule. She spoke truth to power. Just like Anna did,
and she paid for it with her life.
Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist in her forties when she wrote
against human rights abuses in the war in Chechnya; Malala is only 16 and still
continuing her education. However, like Anna, Malala believes that a pen is a
powerful weapon and that education can stop people from falling for ideologies
of hatred and violence. Like Anna Politkovskaya, Malala did not call for
violence or revenge against those, who attacked her. Compassion, tolerance and
remaining peaceful were principles that Anna held high in her life.
the attack, Malala was flown to Birmingham to receive treatment, and by March
2013 she had made a remarkable recovery and was well enough to return to
school. Now living in
Birmingham with her family, Malala continues to campaign for the right of every
child to go to school. A petition in her name was
launched at the UN, calling for education for all children and the 12th of
July, the day she spoke at the UN this year and her 16th birthday, was named ’’Malala
day“, a day to campaign for education for girls worldwide.
Last year, we presented the
award to Marie Colvin, the brave Sunday Times war correspondent, who was killed in Syria. In October 2007 we presented the first Anna Politkovskaya Award to Natalia Estemirova for her courage in
seeking and telling the truth about the torture, disappearance and murder of
civilians in Chechnya. We were shocked and outraged by the killing of Natalia
on 15 July 2009. And as in Anna’s case no one has been brought to justice for
We call again on the
Russian government to bring to justice those who killed Anna and Natalia and
their colleagues, and to end the killings and persecution of journalists and
human rights defenders in the Russian Federation. We stand behind Malala’s call
to the international community to ensure free, compulsory education all over
the world for every child and to ensure freedom and equality for women, so they
can flourish. We call again on the world’s leaders to pledge to do everything
in their power to protect journalists and human rights defenders who work in
areas of war and conflict.
We owe it to the memory of Anna, Natalia and Marie
to protect the very few who still speak out on behalf of those to whom nobody
wants to listen.
members of the Committee of Supporters to the Anna Politkovskaya Award:
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, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Natasha Kandic, Elisabeth Rehn,
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Mariane Pearl, Azar Nafisi, Asma Jahangir, Carl Gershman,
Hina Jilani, Susan Sarandon, Jane Birkin, Sophie Shihab, Naomi Klein, Sister Marya Grathwohl, OSF, Sister Helen Prejean, Ariel Dorfman, Vanessa Redgrave, Eve Ensler,
Michael Cunningham, John Sweeney, Jonathan Schell, Noam Chomsky, Marina
Litvinenko, Lucy Ash, Sussan Deyhim, Heidi Bradner, Desmond O'Malley, Anne
Nivat, Annabel Markova, Frank Judd, Nicolas Rea, Anthony Giddens, Nazir Ahmed,
Mukesh Kapila CBE, Molly Meacher, Vivien Stern, Helena Kennedy QC, Yakin
Erturk, Elena Kudimova, Andrey Nekrasov, Meglena Kuneva, Peter Gabriel, Stina
Scott, Anna Stavitskaya, Dubravka Ugresic, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Victor
Navasky, Aidan White, Holly Near, Elizabeth Frank, Elizabeth Kostova, Bill
Bowring, Irena Grudzinska Gross, Jenny Diski, Monica Ali, Isa Blyden, Nayereh
Tohidi, Claire Bertschinger, Tsvetana Maneva, Elena Jandova, Julian Popov and
others. For the full list of the Committee of Supporters to the Anna
Politkovskaya Award please see:
Press Release: Malala Yousafzai is the winner of the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award
Malala Yousafzai (PAKISTAN)
IS THE WINNER OF THE 2013 RAW in WAR ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA AWARD
for women human rights defenders from war and conflict
16 year old Malala to accept the award from 104 year old human rights defender, Sir Nicholas Winton, known as “the British Schindler”
Today, Friday 4th October, RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) celebrates the courageous and inspiring work of Malala Yousafzai, the brave young woman from Pakistan who has courageously spoken out about the right of every girl and every boy around the world to receive an education. Defying the strict ban imposed by the Taliban on girls attending school, she refused to be silenced in the face of grave danger, just like Anna Politkovskaya did. Malala Yousafzai was only 15 years-old when she was shot by the Taliban on 9 October last year for campaigning for education for girls.
Ahead of the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on Monday 7th October RAW in WAR honours Malala with the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award for her courage to speak out when nobody else dared, for her strength to give a voice to the many women and girls, whose voices cannot be heard, and for her passionate belief in promoting education for girls.
On accepting the award Malala Yousafzai said:
“Anna Politkovskaya was a dedicated journalist and human rights activist. She campaigned passionately about issues, which concerned her. She spoke out about causes, which other people dared not speak about. She was brave and an inspiration. I am extremely proud to have been chosen to receive an award, which bears Anna’s name and hope that I may be as brave as she was. I greatly admire Anna’s dedication to truth, to equality, and to humanity.”
The RAW in WAR Nominations Committee for the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award was deeply humbled by the bravery and courage of Malala and by the determination with which she continues her campaign for education for girls, despite the threats she faces. She lives a life of courage and truth-telling in the face of grave danger, as Anna did.
On Malala receiving the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award, Lord Frank Judd, a member of the 2013 Award Nominations Committee, said:
”I am convinced that Anna would have been delighted. The courage and effectiveness of Anna and Malala are a huge challenge to us all.”
Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist in her forties, when she wrote against human rights abuses; Malala is only 16 and still continuing her education. However, like Anna, Malala believes that a pen is a powerful weapon and that education can stop people from falling for ideologies of hatred and violence. Like Anna Politkovskaya, Malala did not call for violence or revenge against those, who attacked her. Compassion, tolerance and remaining peaceful were principles that Anna held high in her life.
Malala Yousafzai will be accepting the award in person at the 2013 Anna Politkovskaya Award ceremony at the Southbank Centre, Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The award will be presented by the “British Schindler”, 104 year old Sir Nicholas Winton, who in 1939 organized the rescue and saved the lives of 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, on the eve of the Second World War. Malala and Sir Nicholas are also the youngest and the oldest persons ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
On presenting the award to Malala, Sir Nicholas Winton said:
“It’s a great pleasure to give this award to someone like Malala, who is so young and yet who is striving to make the world a better, more ethical place.”
On receiving the Anna Politkovskaya Award, Malala Yousafzai will join a group of remarkable women human rights defenders who received the Anna Politkovskaya Award in the past, including Marie Colvin (2012), Razan Zaitouneh (2011), Dr. Halima Bashir (2010), The One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality in Iran (2009), Malalai Joya (2008) and Natalia Estemirova (2007)
On the Anna Politkovskaya Awards, Azar Nafisi, author, “Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books”, said:
“It’s quite extraordinary, as well as natural, that we should celebrate the work of Anna through celebrating other courageous women who come from such different nations, backgrounds, and speak different languages but all share a common language in their desire for freedom. Not just for themselves but for all victims of oppression.”
More information available at: www.rawinwar.org
FOR INTERVIEWS, PICTURES, PRESS ADVISORY OR FURTHER INFORMATION ON RAW IN WAR PLEASE CONTACT:
Nathalie Losekoot on
See attached a Media Advisory for details of special guests available for interviews, including Sir Nicholas Winton.
Please note that Malala Yousafzai will not be available for interview at this time. Any media enquiries relating to
Malala should be directed to:
Edelman at +44 (0)203 047 2585 or