Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Anna Politkovskaya, 1958-2006

Anna Politkovskaya, זצ״ל (this, this, and this), was assassinated last week. No surprise, I guess. Politkovskaya dedicated her adult life to reporting on human rights abuses in Russia, especially in the second Chechen war. She was a spokesperson for the ordinary oppressed Chechen (and Russian), and she condemned all the oppressors, both in the Russian government and among the Chechen rebels. She got many well-deserved awards from human rights and journalistic organizations; closer to home, she got jailed, poisoned, and threatened with death.

On a personal note, I had the privilege of playing a minor bolt-tightening role in preparing the English translation of one of her books, A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya, for publication.

People like Politkovskaya put me to shame. I'd like to do more for other people, but it's sometimes inconvenient, and I have more important concerns, like the kashrut of Lake Michigan water.

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