Journalist flees to Vienna after receiving threats
October 15, 2001 12:00 PM ET
New York, October 15, 2001—Anna Politkovskaya, a correspondent with Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta known for her investigative reports on human rights abuses committed by the Russian military in Chechnya, fled to Vienna, Austria, last week.
Novaya Gazeta's deputy editor-in-chief, Sergey Sokolov, told CPJ in a telephone interview today that the threats stemmed from a September 10 article Politkovskaya wrote that named Russian military officer Sergey Lapin, nicknamed "Kadet," as responsible for committing atrocities against civilians in Chechnya.
Novaya Gazeta received a threat via e-mail in mid-September saying that Lapin was coming to Moscow to avenge the article, Sokolov reported.
Vyacheslav Izmaylov, a military correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, told the English-language daily The Moscow Times that the most recent threat, received by Novaya Gazeta on October 10, was signed "Kadet."
Initially, security guards were assigned to protect Politkovskaya, and she was instructed by Novaya Gazeta not to leave her home.
However, Novaya Gazeta's senior staff decided that these safety precautions were insufficient and sent her temporarily to Vienna.
Novaya Gazeta planned to file an official request last Friday with the prosecutor's office to launch an investigation into Politkovskaya's case, Sokolov told CPJ.
"I don't know exactly what these threats are related to," Politkovskaya told CPJ in a telephone interview. "For the first time since the beginning of the war [in Chechnya], the authorities have arranged it so that I cannot work."
"CPJ is deeply concerned by these threats against our colleague," said CPJ executive director Ann Cooper. "The Russian government must take forceful action to investigate these threats and prosecute those responsible."
Other sources of danger
Although the e-mails allegedly came from Lapin, Politkovskaya said the threats could also be linked to her coverage of a Russian military helicopter shot down in Chechnya in September. Though the Russian government has claimed that a lone Chechen rebel shot down the helicopter, Politkovskaya suggested in an article and newspaper interviews that the Russian military was responsible for the accident.
Ten high-ranking military officials, including Lt. Gen. Anatoliy Pozdnyakov, were killed when the aircraft was shot down. Pozdnyakov was on his way to Moscow to report to President Vladimir Putin on the conduct of Russian military forces in Chechnya.
Next month, Anna Politkovskaya will be in the United States on a tour to promote her new book on Chechnya, A Dirty War.
New York, July 20, 2017 -- Russian authorities should investigate an attack on prominent independent journalist and columnist Yulia Latynina, bring those responsible to justice, and ensure her safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In the early hours yesterday, unknown assailants sprayed a foul-smelling substance through an open...
Russian journalist warned by anonymous text messages to stop reporting
July 18, 2017 5:34 PM ET
New York, July 18, 2017--Russian authorities should investigate threatening messages that business reporter Rinat Sagdiyev said he has received, and ensure the journalist's safety, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
An investigative journalist and a blogger attacked in Russia
April 27, 2017 3:56 PM ET
New York, April 27, 2017--Russian authorities should thoroughly investigate two attacks against journalists yesterday and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today....
New York, April 20, 2017-- Russian federal authorities should swiftly bring to justice all those responsible for the murder of Nikolai Andrushchenko, co-founder of the weekly newspaper Novy Peterburg, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The journalist, known for his reporting on corruption and police brutality, died in...