In 2015, thanks to the EXPO, Milan will become a window on the world.
The city which gave birth to world renown writers such as Manzoni and Beccaria will, while highlighting the problem of hunger in the world, also draw attention to respect for fundamental human rights, up to and including freedom of the press.
In recent years, one person stood out at international level for journalism that “tells it like it is” – that person was the late Anna Politkvoskaja.
Death threats, arrests, poisonings, fake firing squads, and even isolation were not enough to silence this courageous Russian journalist.
5 Years ago, on the 7th October 2006, Anna Politkvoskaja was shot and killed on the doorstep of her own home.
While Russian justice is attempting, albeit hesitantly, to identify those who shot Anna, there is, and perhaps always will be, mystery surrounding the person, or persons, who ordered the killing.
“I see everything, this is the problem”, Anna Politkovskaja once wrote. Anna was murdered solely because she wanted to do her job as a journalist.
Although Milan has dedicated public gardens to the memory of noted Italian journalist Indro Montanelli, another of its sons, Enzo Biagi remains unrecognised having never been awarded Milan’s highest honor, the Ambrogino d’oro.
Now, the city has an opportunity to redeem itself.
In 2009, after an online petition and a popular mobilization (organized by Annaviva and Gariwo), a tree in the Garden of the Righteous on Monte Stella in Milan has been dedicated to the name of Anna Politkovskaya by Milan City Council. Other Italian cities like Genoa and Brescia have followed this example.
Today, as supporters of this cause, we ask Milan City Council and Mayor Pisapia to go a step further and put the city of Milan on a par with others in the world.
Streets have been named after Anna Politoskaja in many European cities – from Rome to Tbilisi, Toulouse to Ferrara – so we respectfully request Milan City Council to name a street or a square in memory of Anna Politkovskaya’s in the city which will host the 2015 Universal Exposition.
If, indeed, a new wind is blowing within Italy’s “moral capital”, we believe this is our chance to prove it to the whole world.
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