On Second Anniversary of the Murder of Natalya Estemirova, A Renewed Call for Justice
Today Freedom House honors the life and work of Natalya Estemirova, a brave Russian human rights defender and journalist, who was abducted and murdered in the North Caucasus region of Russia on July 15, 2009.
Ms. Estemirova devoted her career to bringing awareness and pressing for accountability for human rights abuses, particularly in Chechnya. Two years have passed since her tragic death, yet those responsible for this horrible crime have not been brought to justice. Despite promises, the Russian authorities continue to fail to investigate the casein a credible manner. The human rights situation in Chechnya has not improved and has become even more dangerous for human rights defenders.
Freedom House urges that serious attention be given to the report by the Memorial Human Rights Centerand the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Novaya Gazeta on shortcomings in the government’s investigation.
After two years Freedom House reiterates its call for the Russian government to conduct a thorough, fair and transparent investigation and to prosecute all those responsible. Let there not be a third anniversary of injustice. The Russian authoritiesmust fully investigate possible involvement of Chechen officials in her disappearance and murder and end the climate of impunity that allows the murder of journalists and human rights defenders.