Today marks the tenth anniversary of the murder of Chechen human rights activist and freelance journalist, Natalia Estemirova, who worked in Chechnya for the human rights organization, Memorial.
In a ceremony held in 2007, the Women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, on behalf of RAW in WAR, presented the first annual Anna Politkovskaya Award to Natalia Estemirova, for her courage in seeking and telling the truth about the torture, disappearance and murder of civilians in the war in Chechnya.
Natalia continued to document and speak out about the atrocities against civilians in the war in Chechnya, despite repeated harassment and death threats. Eventually, in 2009, she paid for it with her life, just like her good friend, the Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, who also reported the truth about the war in Chechnya and was killed in 2006 to silence her voice. There is nothing more dangerous than telling the truth in today’s Russia.
Ten years on, no adequate investigation into Natalia’s murder has taken place, nor has anyone been brought to justice for her killing. Ten years on, we repeat the call for the Russian Government and the Chechen authorities to bring to justice, both those who murdered, and those who ordered the murder of Natalia Estemirova.
In doing so we remember and give thanks for her life of courage and truth-telling in the face of grave danger. We also call again on the Russian authorities to bring to justice the masterminds of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, now almost 13 years ago. Read more