Russian President Dmitry Condemns Killing
By Admin - Thu Jul 16, 3:42 pm
He has ordered an inquiry into the killing of Ms Estemirova, who was investigating alleged abuses by government-backed militias in Chechnya.
She was abducted and bundled into a van as she left her home in the Chechen capital, Grozny, on Wednesday.
Her body was found in neighbouring Ingushetia, with gunshot wounds.
Ms Estemirova, 50, had been gathering evidence – for the Russian human rights organisation, Memorial – of a campaign of house-burnings by government-backed militiamen.
She was known to be a fierce political opponent of Chechnya’s government, led by pro-Moscow President Ramzan Kadyrov.
In a strongly-worded statement, the head of Memorial, Oleg Orlov, linked the Chechen authorities to the murder of Ms Estemirova, alleging that she had been personally threatened in the past.
Mr Kadyrov, who has previously denied accusations of involvement in the killing of prominent Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, has not directly addressed Memorial’s allegations.
But he publicly condemned the killing, saying the perpetrators of the murder “deserve no support and must be punished as the cruellest of criminals”.
There is no shred of doubt that she was targeted due to her professional activity
Human Rights Watch
He said he would take personal control of the investigation.
In Washington, the White House issued a statement saying the US was “deeply disturbed and saddened by the… brutal slaying”.
“Such a heinous crime sends a chilling signal to Russian civil society and the international community and illustrates the tragic deterioration of security and the rule of law in the North Caucasus over the last several months,” said the White House