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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hundreds Rally in Moscow in Politkovskaya's Memory

MOSCOW — Hundreds of people called on authorities to find and punish the killers of journalists and human rights activists in Russia, rallying Wednesday to mark the third anniversary of the killing of Anna Politkovskaya.

"The authorities are incapable of solving such crimes," said Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister and now a leader of the opposition.

"Even the most honest investigator cannot solve the crime because the government won't let him.

Politkovskaya, an internationally known journalist, was a harsh critic of the Kremlin and exposed widespread human-rights abuses and corruption in Chechnya.

Prosecutors have said little about who might have ordered the contract-style killing on Oct. 7, 2006, while the suspected gunman is believed to be hiding abroad. Three men accused of playing minor roles in the killing remain under investigation. 
Since Politkovskaya's death, at least seven journalists and human rights activists have been killed in Russia, including one who wrote for the same newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.

"There is a political will not to solve the murders," Dmitry Muratov, the newspaper's editor, told the crowd that had gathered in a Moscow park.

Some of Russia's most prominent human rights activists and opposition leaders took part in the rally, which began with a minute of silence at 4:03 p.m., the time Politkovskaya was shot in her apartment building three years ago.

Many held photographs of Politkovskaya and bouquets of roses, which they later placed outside her apartment building in central Moscow. Dozens more joined them in paying their respects to the slain journalist. 
Flowers were taped to the building's wall and placed against a large color poster of Politkovskaya. A smaller poster read: "The smart, honest and brave cannot survive in Russia."

Neither President Dmitry Medvedev nor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was president when Politkovskaya was killed, made mention of her death Wednesday. Putin was celebrating his 57th birthday. 
Memorial events were also planned in London and Paris.