Moscow Vigil for Polikovskaya

Thursday, August 30 would have been the 49th birthday of Anna Politkovskaya, the investigative journalist shot down almost one year ago in Moscow. A vigil was held on her birthday to honor her memory and her fight for truth and justice. From the Moscow Times:

The meeting came on a day Russian media reported that two of 11 suspects arrested in connection with her murder on Oct. 7 had been freed, while five others had complained of being abused during their detention.

Thursday evening, about 250 people gathered in a small corner of the square, much of which was crowded with stages and equipment already in place for the weekend’s City Day celebrations.

Among those who attended were opposition politicians, including United Civil Front leader Garry Kasparov; Eduard Limonov, a leader of the Other Russia movement; and Vladimir Ryzhkov, the leader of the now-defunct Republican Party, as well as Lyudmila Alekseyeva, the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group.

Speaking to the gathering, Kasparov pointed a finger at the authorities for Politkovskaya’s murder. A bullet always gets the last word in an argument,” Kasparov said. “The government chose to use that bullet.”

After the ceremony, part of the group walked to nearby Lesnaya Ulitsa, where Politkovskaya lived in the apartment building in which she was shot dead.

A young boy lit about 10 candles in front of the entrance to the building, and posters with Politkovskaya’s picture and the slogan “You Can’t Kill the Truth” were taped to the walls.

“Today is a really sad day,” said her son, Ilya Politkovsky, 28. “It’s the first birthday without my mother. We spent some time at the cemetery this morning. It was very overwhelming.”

Politkovskaya was murdered on October 7, 2006. This year on October 10, Other Russia leader Garry Kasparov and others will speak at an event in her honor in Washington DC.