Group calls for Russia to act over Politkovskaya

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LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) Russia must bring to justice those who instigated the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a group of prominent activists said today.

Politkovskaya was shot dead in her apartment building in a contract-style shooting on October 7 last year.

The group Reach All Women in War (RAW in WAR), whose supporters include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, made the call in a letter to Britain's Times newspaper.

''We call on the Russian government to bring to justice, in full conformity with international standards, both those who killed Anna Politkovskaya and those who ordered her murder,'' the letter said.

''We also call on the world's leaders to pledge to do everything in their power to protect the journalists and human rights defenders who work in the areas of war and conflict, and who speak out on behalf of the victims, as Anna did.'' Among those who signed today's letter were Elena Bonner, widow of the late Soviet dissident and Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov, former Czech president Vaclav Havel, and Marina Litvinenko, whose husband Alexander died in London last year after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210.

Russian authorities have arrested 11 people over Politkovskaya's death.

Prosecutors, who linked the killing to her reporting, have said they suspect she was murdered by an organized crime group involving serving and former law enforcement officers.

Politkovskaya was active in exposing abuses by security forces in Chechnya and neighbouring Russian regions.

REUTERS SKB KP1819

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