On Thursday 6th October 2016, RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) celebrated Valentina Cherevatenko, a courageous Russian human rights and peace activist.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on Friday 7th October 2016, RAW in WAR honoured Valentina Cherevatenko, a brave Russian human rights activist dedicated to supporting civilians whose lives continue to be affected by violence in the North Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine. Through her organisation, “Women of the Don”, Valentina works with those, who suffer the psychological damage induced by conflict and violence in the region, despite the risk to herself and her organization.
Valentina is currently facing criminal charges for failing to register her organisation as a “foreign agent” and she is accused of knowingly receiving foreign funding. It is the first time that criminal charges have been brought under the law on “foreign agents” against an NGO in Russia and there is a serious concern from human rights groups that these charges are simply to silence Valentina for the peace building and reconciliation work she does on behalf of the survivors of armed conflict. If convicted, Valentina is facing up to two-year imprisonment. On accepting the Special Anna Politkovskaya Award, Valentina Cherevatenko said:
“Everything to do with Anna Politkovskaya, her name and her work, is terribly important for me. Being awarded the Anna Politkovskaya prize is a great honour, too. It puts many years of my peace building work and “Women of the Don’s work, as a whole, on the par with what Anna did, what she fought for and what she died for.”