Wednesday, July 15, 2009

RUSSIAN ACTIVIST 'FOUND MURDERED' !

A prominent Russian human rights activist, Natalia Estemirova, has been found dead in the North Caucasus.
She was bundled into a van and abducted as she left her home in Chechnya on Wednesday morning, a colleague said. Her body was found in Ingushetia.
The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed "outrage" at the murder, and ordered a top-level investigation.
Ms Estemirova had been investigating human rights abuses in Chechnya for the independent Memorial group.
Memorial is one of Russia's best known rights groups, working to document Soviet-era abuses and those taking place more recently, especially in Chechnya.
Ms Estemirova, described as a single mother in her early 40s, had worked in the past with the activists Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in 2006, and Stanislav Markelov, who was killed in January this year.
In 2007 she was awarded the inaugural Anna Politkovskaya Prize, and had also received awards from the Swedish and European parliaments, Memorial said.

In a statement the group said she "was forcefully taken from her house into a car and shouted that she was being kidnapped" at about 0830 local time (0430 GMT).
Her body was found in woodland near Nazran, the main city in neighbouring Ingushetia, about nine hours later. She had bullet wounds to the head and chest.
The New-York based human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Ms Estemirova had been working on "extremely sensitive" cases of human rights abuses in Chechnya.
"There is no shred of doubt that she was targeted due to her professional activity," said Tanya Lokshina, HRW's Russian researcher in Moscow.
Ms Estemirova was engaged in very important and dangerous work, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow, investigating hundreds of cases of alleged kidnapping, torture and extra-judicial killings by Russian government troops or militias in Chechnya.
Memorial says it believes that government security services of some nature must be involved in her killing.
Our correspondent says no evidence of that has emerged so far, but that it was the government sponsored militias that had most to fear from her work.
She is the most recent in a long line of human rights activists and lawyers to have been killed or attacked in Russia. The history of these sorts of cases over many years is that very rarely are their killers ever brought to justice, our correspondent says.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home