Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russian Secret Services Hiding Estemirova’s Killer

Posted by Info on 17/07/2011

Two years agoon 15 july 2009 rights defender Natalya Estemirova was kidnapped from outside her home in the Chechen capital, Grozny, and slain with shots to the head and chest.

Now, on the anniversary of her killing journalists and rights activists inside and outside of Russia say little progress has been made in resolving her murder and are calling for a thorough and impartial investigation into her death.

The Russian rights group Memorial presented to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suggest that the government investigation is on the wrong track and that the secret services were used to concoct a false version of events to steer attention away from the true killers.

new report didn’t put blame on specific authorities but pointed to critical gaps in the investigation — including DNA evidence found on Estemirova’s fingernails and clothes — that make it impossible to adequately judge who was behind the killing.
Chechen authorities, including President Ramzan Kadyrov, had publicly criticized Estemirova for her reporting on human rights abuses in the North Caucasus republic, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, and torture by the Chechen government. Just weeks before her death, Estemirova had exposed a case of extrajudicial killing by local police. Federal investigators, however, have failed to explore any possible role of the police in her killing.


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