On 15 July 2015 it is six years since the assassination of Natalya Estemirova


15 July 2015

Today, 15 July 2015, it is six years since the day of the abduction and assassination of a well-known Russian human rights defender who worked in the representative office of the Human Rights center «Memorial» in Grozny Natalya Estemirova. Natalya struggled with the system of impunity, abductions, assassinations, public executions, tortures by the “federals” and by the Chechen Republic law-enforcement officers. Her murderers have not been found yet. The Committee Against Torture bewails the death of Natalya Estemirova and expresses sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Today the human rights center «Memorial» conducted exhibition «Never-ending Story: Violence and Impunity in North Caucasus».

The exhibition is prepared by Czech humanitarian organization «A Man in Need», for many years functioning in North Caucasus. It features twelve stories of different people telling about abductions, murders, tortures, frame-ups of the criminal cases. One of these stories is about Natalya Estemirova abduction and assassination. Previously this exhibition was carried out in Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.

A topic «round table» was performed in the framework of the event, it involved members of «Memorial» Human Rights Center Council, Chairman of «Civil Assistance» Committee, a member of the Expert Council under the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Svetlana Gannushkina, Chairman of the «Committee Against Torture», Head of the Joint Mobile Group of Russian human rights organizations in the Chechen Republic, a member of the Council under Russia’s President on Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Igor Kalyapin, Human Rights Watch Program Director, a member of «Memorial» Human Rights Center Council, a member of the Expert Council under the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Oleg Orlov, lawyer of Boris Nemtsov’s family Vadim Prokhorov, Chairman of «Memorial» Human Rights Center Council, a member of the Expert Council under the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Aleksandr Cherkasov, Черкасов, ex-Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation Vladimir Loukin.

The round table participants told about the human rights work of Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya, her abduction and assassination, the inefficient investigation of the criminal case, which has been for several years dealt with in vain by investigator of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the North Caucasus Federal District Igor Sobol. Human rights defenders also shared their knowledge about the current human rights situation in the Chechen Republic.

Some of the cases which Natalya Estemirova was dealing with were demonstrated at the exhibition. Each poster features information on one specific case related to illegal violence and tortures by law-enforcement representatives. Some of these cases are dealt with by the Committee Against Torture (the Gaysanova case, the Askhabova case, the Edigov case, the Kutayev case, the Ibragimov case). On some of the cases criminal proceedings have been initiated, on some – complaints have been prepared and submitted to the European Court of Human Rights, in several cases the European Court of Human Rights passed rulings, acknowledging human rights violations by the Russian Federation.

The exhibition will be open for admission till 31 of July on weekdays from 13.00 till 19.00 at address: Moscow, Karetny ryad St., 5/10.

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