Monday, 21 April 2014

Karlovy Vary names park after journalist Politkovskaya

5 October 2012

Karlovy Vary, West Bohemia, Oct 4 (CTK) - Karlovy Vary representatives Thursday unveiled a bust of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered six years ago, and named the park in which the bust is after her.

The idea of Czech towns naming their streets or parks after prominent dissidents and human rights defenders came from the People in Need humanitarian organisation.

"We operate in many unfree countries and we can see similar fates there. Anna Politkovskaya was a textbook example of such persons," said Marek Svoboda, from People in Need.

Karlovy Vary is the first Czech municipality that answered the call. The town's councillors approved the bust and park renaming already in May.

Karlovy Vary deputy mayor Jiri Klsak said this country also had people who were fighting for their truth and were willing to give up not only their comfort but also their live before 1989.

Politkovskaya sharply criticised the regime in Russia. She was murdered in October 2006. Her murder generated a wave of solidarity with Russian investigative journalists and activists. A square in Rome and a press centre in the European Parliament are named after Politkovskaya.

Karlovy Vary is popular among Russian tourists and there is a Russian community based in the spa town. According to official data, there were more than 2000 Russian citizens living in the town in 2010. Karlovy Vary had over 50,000 inhabitants then.

Within its human rights campaign, People in Need wants to pay respect to other personalities like Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Laura Pollan, Ukrainian journalist Georgiy Gongadze and Chechen human rights activist Natalya Estemirova.

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