Anna Politkovskaya was a journalist, author and human rights activist. She received her Diploma in Journalism from Moscow State University in 1980 and worked on a number of newspapers as a correspondent and editor, including as special correspondent for the Russian twice-weekly newspaper Novaya Gazeta. She had a particular interest in Chechnya, and wrote extensively on the subject, including the book A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya (Harvill, 2001). She acted as a mediator in the Nord-Ost theatre siege in Moscow in 2002, and was the recipient of numerous international honours, including:
- First Prize of the Lettre Ulysses Award (2003)
- Hermann-Kesten Medal, PEN Germany (2003)
- Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (2002)
- Most Courageous Defence of Free Expression from Index on Censorship (2002)
- Special Award of Amnesty International (2001)
On 7 October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building. English PEN were hugely saddened by the news of her assassination. We continue to campaign for the right to freedom of expression.