OPC Applauds Justice at Last for Russia's Baburova

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Russian Federation

H.E. Dmitri Medvedev
President
Russian Federation
Fax:  (011.7.495) 206.6277 / 5173

H.E. Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister
Russian Federation
Fax: (011.7.495) 206.4622 / 205.4219

Your Excellencies:

The Overseas Press Club of America, which has often written you to complain of unpunished abuses of press freedom in Russia, is deeply gratified by yesterday's conviction of the killers of Anastasia Baburova, a young journalist with Novaya Gazeta, and the prominent human rights lawyer, Stanislav Markelov.

As you know, the pair were killed in broad daylight two years ago on a Moscow street near the Kremlin, and it is good to know that their brazen killers, the neo-fascist Nikita Tikhonov and his partner, Yevgenia Khasis, will not escape punishment.

We hope that Your Excellencies will encourage Aleksandr Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee, in his mission to pursue 18 other cases of murdered journalists in recent years.  We remain specially concerned about the killings of Anna Politkovskaya, Natalya Estemirova, Paul Klebnikov and Magomed Yevloyev, all of which have been repeatedly highlighted by watchdog groups around the world.

Even chairman Bastrykin's mission, if successfully accomplished, will be only a beginning.  By the conservative count of the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 52 journalists (now 51) have been killed with impunity in Russia since 1992.

Respectfully yours,
Kevin McDermott
Larry Martz
Co-chairmen - Freedom of the Press Committee

cc:

H.E. Sergey V. Lavrov
Foreign Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Moscow  121200
Russian Federation
Fax: (011.7.495) 244.3448

H.E. Sergey I. Kislyak
Russian Ambassador to the U.S.A.
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Fax:  (202) 298.5735

Dmitri Peskov
First Deputy Spokesman of the President of the Russian Federation
c/o  Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20007
Fax:  (202) 298-5735

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin
Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations
136 East 67th Street
New York, NY  10021
Fax: (212) 628.0252

H.E. John Beyrle
U.S. Ambassador to Russia
Embassy of the United States of America
8 Bolshoy Devyatinskiy
Pereulok
Moscow  121099
Russia
Fax:  (011.7.495) 728-5090

Andrey Vitalyevich Vasilyev
Editor-in-Chief
Kommersant Daily
4 Vrubelya Street
Moscow, Russia
kommersant@kommersant.ru

Aleksey K. Simonov
President
Glasnost Defense Foundation
4 Zubovskiy Boulevard, # 432
Moscow  119021
Russia
Fax: (011.7.495) 637.4947

Andrew McChesney
Editor-in-Chief
The Moscow Times
Ul. Polkovaya, 3, build. 1
Moscow  127018
Russia
mcchesney@imedia.ru

Maria Otero
Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

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