Thursday, July 16, 2009
On A Serious Note
This is Russian journalist Natalia Estemirova . Yesterday she was abducted and murdered in Grozny by a group of men after being stalked for her reports of rampant human rights abuses in Russia and it's breakaway republics . She was a humble schoolteacher who became an award-winning investigative journalist due to the Chechen rebel uprisings and frequently spoke out about cruelties commited by both sides of the conflict and was currently investigating kidnappings and murders by Russian governmental and para-military groups . Ms. Esmirova was not the first honest journalist murdered for her words , and regrettably , will not be the last . Two of her close associates were Anna Politkovskaya was an acclaimed American-born Ukranian journalist and professor murdered , likely by Putin's FSB , for speaking out against the FSB's soviet-style activities ; and human rights attorney Stanislav Markelov , gunned down this past January along with Ana Baburova , a journalist who had just turned 25 . And , of course , we all know of Aleksandar Litvinenko , poisoned by rare radioactive element Polonium-210 , ironically named so by Marie Curie as a protest against the lack of political freedoms in Poland. It has ofeten been speculated that behind the hundreds of murders lies the influence of former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin , former president Boris Yeltsin , and powerful businessmen with Mafiya ties .
According to the now-dead whistleblowers , current and past leaders in the new Russia have ties to the old totalitarian ways and engage in the same types of tortures and murders as in the KGB days and there is no press freedom , and I may just have to agree with such statements .
Under Putin , now Prime Minister after his limited 2 terms as president , business associates of himself and his daughters have become billionaires and the family has ties to known terrorists. Freedom of the press and assembly became non-existent , guaranteeing Putin a second term . Russians may enjoy some financial freedoms , but make no mistake , people are the FURTHEST from free in a nation that simply doesn't know HOW to be free. The people who run the nation are all ex-KGB and current President Medvedev is a staunch Putin loyalist who , like him , proclaims to have far less personal wealth than he actually possesses . He runs the dubious Historical Truth Commission with members of the FSB and other Putin loyalists intent on modifying historial opinion to give Russia a more favourable reputation and cover up the crimes of the Stalin era , among other things .
It is very dangerous to have an opinion in Russia ; as dangerous as it was in the KGB-Communist era , and it is getting even more dangerous by the day . The vast majority of these executioners are never brought to justice . Police and secret service arrest , detain , torture , and even kill people, seemingly at the behest of a new style of totalitarian regime . Russia today may well be the most repressive capitalist country in the secular world , rivalling the UAE and Iran when it comes to control of media outlets and we are looking the other way because it is painful to admit that the fall of communism has resulted in freedom and prosperity for a chosen few , but Leninistic repression of the many . Let's not let these heroic freedom fighters die in vain and our governments must stop kissing the asses of those who terrorize their own people .
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 16:20