Anna Politkovskaya last piece published

Murdered Russian journalist's last piece published

The unfinished final article that the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was working on when she was murdered at the weekend, giving a grisly account of alleged torture by Chechen officials, was published in her newspaper today.

The story in Novaya Gazeta included written testimony from a Chechen man extradited from Ukraine to a Chechen government office in Grozny.

There, he says, he was hung by his hands and feet from a pole and beaten, subjected to electric shocks and suffocated with a bag over his head to force him to confess to killings he said he had not committed.

"They attached wires to my little fingers," Beslan Gadayev wrote. "Seconds later, they started to give me electric shocks and at the same time beat me with rubber truncheons. I do not know how long this went on for."

Politkovskaya, 48, who won international acclaim for her reporting on the brutality of Russian forces in Chechnya, was shot dead in the lift of her apartment block in Moscow on Saturday.

Police are hunting a man filmed by a CCTV camera entering the building a few moments before she was shot three times in the chest and once in the head. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, said on Tuesday that "all necessary efforts" would be made to find the killer.

The article was accompanied by graphic images taken from a video showing, the newspaper said, Russian-backed Chechen security services torturing two young men described as terrorists.

The video, seemingly shot by the people committing the attack, shows one man lying in a pool of blood, apparently dead, as well as a man's face covered in blood and a body slumped with what the caption describes as a knife sticking out of the area around the ear.

In her report, Politkovskaya said the abuse was provoking hundreds of law-abiding young Chechens to take up arms and join the insurgency.

Some reports have claimed Politkovskaya's murder could have been linked to the article. She told a radio programme last week that she was working on a story about torture.

However, it could equally well be connected to other stories by her, for example about the abuse of civilians in Chechnya at the hands of security services, the 2002 Moscow theatre siege or the 2004 Beslan school hostage-taking.

Editors at the newspaper said they believed the pro-Moscow Chechen prime minister, Ramzan Kadyrov, whom Politkovskaya called a state bandit, could be responsible for her murder. Mr Kadyrov vehemently denied the accusation.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006


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