Alleged Politkovskaya killer arrested

New York, May 31, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes news reports of the arrest in Chechnya today of Rustam Makhmudov, the alleged gunman suspected of murdering prominent journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow in 2006.

“The arrest of Rustam Makhmudov is a welcome development in the investigation of this significant case,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “We call on investigators to share the details of their work with the public and continue making progress until all perpetrators in the killing of our colleague Anna Politkovskaya are in the dock.”

Politkovskaya, special correspondent for the independent Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was well known for her investigative reports on human rights abuses in Chechnya. In seven years covering the second Chechen war, Politkovskaya’s reporting repeatedly drew the wrath of Russian authorities. She was threatened, jailed, forced into exile, and poisoned during her career, CPJ research shows. On October 7, 2006, a gunman shot Politkovskaya dead in the elevator of her Moscow apartment. In February 2009, a Moscow jury court acquitted three defendants of helping to organize the crime.