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Vladimir Varfolomeyev: Callous People

Below is a translation of a blog post by Vladimir Varfolomeyev, a reporter who works at Echo Moskvy.  Hat tip to Veronica Khokhlova at Global Voices for bringing it to our attention.

Callous people
21 Jan, 2009 at 7:41 PM
The “Live journal” of Vladimir Varfolomeyev

We probably really have started getting used to the regular murders – of journalists, lawyers, politicians… – all those who on the strength of their calling, professional duty or civic conscience are found on the forward flank. Or maybe the point here is that we always were callous people, indifferent to the pain of others.

Today Robert Amsterdam was on “Echo” by telephone from London (theyhaven’t been letting him into Russia for a long time already). He wasgenuinely perplexed as to why almost nobody in our country is cryingout in full voice about the about the flagrant character of what hastaken place. “Not one of my colleagues as ever been subjected to suchattacks, from my legal experience I can name such occurrences only inNigeria and Venezuela. In the USA or my Canada this is simplyimpossible”.

And yet another aspect at which R. Amsterdam brings attention: “Thepower bears responsibility for protecting its own Constitution, and ifhunting season is open for journalists, and now for lawyers as well,then the responsibility lies on those who create the conditions for theimpunity of such actions”.

I think that Medvedev, Putin, Luzhkov and those like them understandthis perfectly well. Which is exactly why they have swallowed theirtongues.

But there are those who do not keep silent.

Such have been found in Russia as well: The Public chamber, theUnion of journalists, president of Chechnya R.Kadyrov, “Yabloko”, “TheRight cause”, the movement “Solidarity”, minister of communicationsI.Shchegolev (expressed condolences) and several individualparliamentarians (I.Kostoyev, V.Likhachev, O.Smolin, O.Shein, S.Markov).

International reaction to the murder of Stanislav Markelov andAnastasia Baburova over these forty-eight hours was at a noticeablyhigher and weightier level: Secgen of the Council of Europe T.Davis,the government of Czechia, head of the MFA of France B.Kouchner, theMFA of Germany, the Eurocommission.