Violence against outspoken women journalists has escalated this year to alarming proportions. Two in particular which should glare women of all ages in the face, is the car bombing of May Chidiac in July and the Oct 7th shooting death of Anna S. Politkovskaya at her Moscow apartment.
Politkovskaya, an American-born repatriated Russian journalist was not only a prestigious award winner (from six different organizations), she has authored several books about the Chechnyan plight and the failing Putin system of democracy.
Check out : A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter In Chechnya
Putin’s Russian Life In a Failing Democracy
A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches From Chechnya
She was only forty-eight years of age, had two children and was a correspondent for the Moscow bi-weekly Novaya Gazeta since June 1999. Throughout her career she was outspoken on atrocities committed by Government backed oppression, but in 2001 e-mail death threats had taken a new twist- from a police officer, Sergei Lapin, who was arrested and charged in 2002 but was released shortly thereafter. In 2005 he was finally convicted and imprisoned for the crimes exposed by Politkovskaya in her article, "The Disappearing People."
In addition to her journalistic efforts, she had been called in on many occasions to negotiate or diffuse well-publicized Chechnyan skirmishes- one being the Nord-Ost crisis in 2002 where the Chechen rebels stormed a Moscow Theatre and also when the Beslan school crisis occurred only two years ago. During her flight there she fell violently ill and was left unable to help. She later said she had suspicions that she was poisoned from tea she was served on the flight. Her influence and help with the Chechan people was legendary and obvious. In both situations the Chechens refused to talk to approved negotiators of the Russian government and insisted on talking to Politskovskaya.
Is it a coincidence that Anna was killed on President Vladimir Putin’s birthday and that he felt her influence was "extremely insignificant"? The Chechnyan people think otherwise. 1,000 people attended her funeral on October 10, at 2:30 p.m. Despite the obvious tragedy, no high ranking officals were seen there.
May Chidiac soldiers on today as a TV journalist on her show, "With All Courage". This is ten months after losing her left hand and leg and her hearing in one ear from a car bomb planted in the seat of her car by pro-Syrian terrorists.
She quotes, "I wanted to go back… I’m used to danger. This is what I had to do. They didn’t succeed, and they are not happy seeing me again like this, saying loudly what I believe in, but I won’t hide or be afraid. I will keep on speaking out until the last day of my life."
Her history of televised critical commentary on Syria for stationing troops in Lebanon and engineering the 2005 assassination of her country’s prime minister has made her a prime target. This month she’ll receive a Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation. Anna Politkovskaya received the same award in 2002.
The Castle Lady sends her biggest your way!
Proverbe du Jour: Every ambitious man is a captive and every covetous one a pauper. – Arab proverb
Sad note: This is not good-bye Patrick, just a brief intermission. Enjoy the feast and
we’ll see you soon enough! Love, your sister
Photos: May Chidiac
and Anna’s funeral photos.
For the quote of the day see June 17th -" Eowyn to Aragorn "