News / Europe

Medvedev Says Killer of Human Rights Activist Identified

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Thursday that the killer of prominent human rights activist Natalya Estemirova has been identified, but the investigation into her 2009 death is ongoing.

Mr. Medvedev said the killer is on an international wanted list.

Estemirova's body was found in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia on July 15, 2009, just hours after she was kidnapped in neighboring Chechnya. Authorities said she had been shot in the head and chest.

Human rights activists noted Thursday that investigators have already named Alkhazur Bashayev, a Chechen rebel killed by Russian security forces in November 2009, as the killer.

The Interfax news agency quotes Oleg Orlov, who heads the rights organization, Memorial, as questioning how Bashayev could be on a wanted list if he is dead. Orlov said he was "deeply disappointed" by the theory that Bashayev killed Estemirova, calling it "very unlikely" but "very convenient" for the Russian authorities.

Orlov has alleged that Chechnya's pro-Moscow president, Ramzan Kadyrov, was responsible for Estemirova's murder by fostering an atmosphere of lawlessness and impunity in the republic.

The European Union on Thursday urged Russia to swiftly complete its investigation into Estemirova's murder.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton called on Moscow "to work towards putting an end to the climate of impunity and fear in the North Caucasus in general and Chechnya in particular."

Following Estemirova's murder, Mr. Medvedev ordered a top-level investigation into the killing. He and other Russian leaders condemned the act, along with the European Union and Human Rights Watch.

Estemirova had collected evidence of kidnappings, torture and killings in Chechnya since the start of the second separatist war there in 1999. Chechen authorities were highly critical of her work.

She worked closely in Chechnya with Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, another Kremlin critic who was murdered in Moscow in 2006.

In 2007, Estemirova was awarded the first annual Anna Politkovskaya Award, in honor of her colleague and friend. The prize was created by the group, Reach All Women In War, with the support of female laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs