I caught this one over at the Nation blog of editor Katrina Vanden Heuvel, who helped present the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom Award to Dmitri Muratov of Novaya Gazeta, one of Anna Politkovskaya’s closest colleagues. Text of his acceptance speech after the jump.
Dmitri Muratov’s speech from the CPJ award ceremony (source: The Nation):
Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Colleagues:Igor Domnikov was murdered for investigating corruption. Yuri Shchekochikhin, my best friend, deputy, and a nationally famous journalist was murdered. Anna Politkovskaya was murdered. Three of the most important people in my life. And it’s me who gets to stand here in a tuxedo and receive an award. It’s not normal. I feel no joy. I never will.If she were alive, Politkovskaya would have had some of her favorite red wine with me. With Domnikov and Shchekochikhin–I would have had lots of vodka. And we would’ve been happy. But now we cannot be. And I won’t ever be.So why do this? Why continue to publish a paper that endangers people’s lives?Because our million readers share the values of democracy. Real democracy–not its imitation. This is not fashionable in Russia today. This could damage one’s career and reputation. Because today there is only one official god – the State and its interests. As opposed to society and individual rights.The state, alas, became a corporate business–the business of special security forces.And that business–like special security forces–needs silence, not press freedom.On November 9, one of our regional editions was shut down – Novaya Gazeta in Samara. The pretext: police found unlicensed Microsoft software in its computers during a search.The paper is no longer. All of its documents and equipment were seized ahead of parliamentary elections, now just two weeks away.Our paper is denied advertising for political reasons. American companies and institutions are allowed to advertise in other Russian papers, not us. I call on advertisers to work directly with Novaya Gazeta.Support us and our smart, highly intelligent, thinking readership. My paper needs your support.On the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s death we turned on her cell phone. There were thousands of calls on the phone.The readers appealed to us to continue her work; to not be silent.We will not be silent.But we can allow ourselves a moment of silence for our murdered journalists. I am asking you to honor them right now.[A moment of silence]A granddaughter was born to Anna Politkovskaya this year. Her name is Anna Victoria. Life goes on.