On the day of the funeral of Natalya Estemirova (Natasha to her friends), a leading investigative researcher for Memorial human rights centre in Chechnya, her friends and colleagues gathered at the Memorial office in Grozny. “Who is next in line?” a sign said. All of us there were devastated by Estemirova’s brazen murder, following her abduction by unidentified men who appeared to be law enforcement officers, on 15 July.
Many women were crying, while the men stood there grimly, as if entranced. They knew someone would eventually be next, but thought that after Estemirova’s killing there would be at least a lull, a respite.… Seguir leyendo »
They found the body of my friend Natalya Estemirova on Wednesday. She had been abducted by unidentified men that morning in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, where she lived and worked as a human rights defender. She was seen being bundled into a sedan and was heard calling out, “I’m being kidnapped!” Calls to her cellphone went unanswered all day; she missed several important meetings, including one at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and she failed to pick up her daughter as scheduled at 2:30 p.m.
I immediately feared the worst. The night before I had come back from a week of research in Chechnya with Natasha, as she was known, where we documented the extrajudicial executions, torture and — ironically — abductions that continue to go unpunished years after the Russian government declared the war there over.… Seguir leyendo »