Details are beginning to emerge about the the two suspects held on suspicion of gunning down fearless human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Novaya Gazeta intern Anastasia Baburova on January 19th this year. It appears that one of the pair, both of whom are suspected of being members of an untranationalist organization, has confessed to the crime.
Whilst we are often lamenting the lack of justice in relation to the astounding number of slayings of journalists and activists which remain unsolved (indeed in some cases, unremarked upon by the Kremlin), many rights advocates are wary of jumping to the conclusion that what we are seeing today represents a breakthrough in transparency and justice-seeking. Many hurdles remain, as an article in the New York Times suggests:
The mood among Mr. Markelov’s friends was less triumphant. A growing list of journalists and political activists have been killed in recent years, but few of those cases have ended in prosecution. Those that have, notably the shootings of the journalists Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov, have identified only low-level criminals or have fallen apart in the courtroom.
“Until the case is closed, it’s not closed,” said Aleksandr Cherkasovof the rights organization Memorial, who was a close friend of Mr.Markelov’s. “Will it be a jury trial? Will the prosecutors be able toprove their case? How much opportunity will there be to manipulate thejury, or influence the jury? So this is not finished.”
“I have no feeling of relief,” he added, “because none of this will resurrect a person.”
Read all here.