Anna Politkovskaya seminar 2018: Stories from the black holes of Europe

Courageous journalists and activists from disputed territories in Europe will tell their stories at our annual Anna Politkovskaya seminar 2018.

The Crimea and eastern Ukraine are the most recent examples of disputed territories where independent reporting is limited and at times dangerous. There are several other “black holes” in Europe where the population suffers from human rights violations and in some cases violent actions of war or unrest while the world community is silent.   

The black holes are difficult to access from the outside and report from the inside. Nevertheless, activists, lawyers and journalists uncover violations, defend victims and disseminate information at great risk. 

We have invited some of these bravest professionals to share their stories in Oslo. How do people get by in these “black holes”? Which risks do the professionals face in their everyday work? What makes them take on these risks? And is it worth it?

The discussions will be introduced by the famous investigative journalist Simon Ostrovsky and divided in two panels:

Introductory remarks by Simon Ostrovsky, Investigative Editor with Coda Story


Propaganda and war of words:   

Yuri Manvelyan, Epress, Journalist covering Nagorno Karabakh  

Tamara Tarashvili, Freelancejournalist covering South Ossetia 


War and annexation:

Svitlana Valko, Truth Hounds, Human Rights Defender in Crimea, Donbas and Abkhazia

Rustam Anshba, Chatham House, Activist in Abkhazia  


The conversations will be moderated by investigative journalist Øystein Windstad, Fagbladet, who himself was attacked during an investigative mission to North Caucasus.  


Each year, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee organises a panel debate to honour the memory of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya and keep attention to the failed investigation of her murder in 2006. This year, we have invited brave journalists who cover a precarious situation in the black holes of Europe as she covered the black hole of Russia – Chechnya. 

The event is supported by Fritt Ord