Press conference Dedicated to the Three Year Anniversary of the Death of Natasha Estemirova to Be Held Tomorrow
On Friday 13 July 2012 at 11:00 a press conference will be held at the information agency Interfax press-center (1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya Street, 2) on the following theme:
“Three years after the death of Natalya Estemirova: why the murders of activists and journalists in the North Caucasus are not being investigated and how attempts are made to silence those who demand a proper investigation.”
The participants of the press conference are:
Igor Kalyapin, Head of the inter-regional Committee against torture (Nizhny Novgorod),
Biakai Magomedov, Editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Chernovik” (Makhachkala),
Tatyana Lokshina, Senior Research for Human Rights Watch in Russia,
Aleksandr Cherkasov, chair of the board of the Memorial Human Rights Center.
Three years ago, on 15 July 2009 in Grozny, Natalya Estemirova – employee of Memorial Human Rights Center and journalist – was abducted by unknown persons, taken into the territory of Ingushetia and killed. Her colleagues unequivocally connect the killing with her professional activities: Natasha reported on the abductions, torture and extrajudicial executions conducted by officers of local power structures.
A year ago, on the second anniversary of her death, human rights defenders spoke on the complete groundlessness of the official version, which came to the conclusion that Estemirova was killed by militants (http://www.memo.ru/eng/news/2011/07/26/2607111.html). That same summer the court acquitted the head of Memorial, Oleg Orlov, who had declared the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov responsible for this crime. However, to this day Natasha's murder has not been investigated.
After her, the following people have been killed: activists Zarema Sadulaeva and Alik Dzhabrailov and employee of the Danish Refugee Council Zarema Gaisanova in Chechnya; the protest movement leader Maksharip Aushev in Ingushetia; and founder of the newspaper “Chernovik” Khadzhimurad Kamalov in Dagestan. Their murders have also gone unpunished. At the same time, authorities exert pressure from all sides on human rights defenders and journalists who demand proper investigations, and the working conditions of activists and the independent media in the region is ever becoming more difficult.
These issues, including new occurrences of the persecution of activists, will be brought to light at the press conference.
Accreditation can be obtained at the following number: 8 (499) 250-88-32.
12 July 2012