21 January 2009

Murdered Journalists - "If You Write You Will Be Killed"

We in the U.S. have been preoccupied with the inauguration and, before that, with the Israeli invasion of Gaza (Carefully choreographed to end in time for the Inauguration). In the meantime, thugs have been killing independent journalists with impunity. As one would expect, the relevant authorities have initiated the customary investigations.

In Moscow, Lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova were shot dead on January 19th. The 25 year old Baburova had been reporting for Novaya Gazeta only since October, working to bring to light the criminal activities of Russian fascists. Her assassination was reported here at openDemocracy. This is the latest in a series of such killings.

In Sri Lanka, Lasantha Wickramatunga, editor of The Sunday Leader was shot dead on January 8th. As editor, Wickramatunga had navigated an independent course, criticizing both the Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan regime. There is a report on his murder here in The Washington Post and close to a handful of reports in The Guardian [1] [2] [3] [4]. Wickramatunga anticipated his assassination (he had received multiple threats) and wrote this remarkable editorial prior to his death; The Sunday Leader published it after he was murdered.



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