Natalia Estemirova, one of the leading human rights defenders who worked in the North Caucasus region, was abducted in Grozny, Chechnya on July 15th on her way to work. She was dragged into a car by several men and driven off in an unknown direction. According to witnesses, Natalia Estemirova managed to shout out that she was being abducted. Her body was found several hours later in the neighboring Republic of Ingushetia with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.
Here’s a copy of the letter you can send to Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, Minister of Justice Aleksandr Konovalov and Ombudsman for Human Rights, Russian Federation, Vladimir Petrovich Lukin demanding a full investigation:
“I am writing to express my shock and extreme alarm at the recent murder of human rights defender Natalia Estemirova. I call for your immediate attention to this outrageous crime and for doing everything to guarantee a thorough investigation of this killing. Every effort must be made to bring those responsible to justice.
Amnesty International believes that Natalia Estemirova was murdered due to her professional human rights activities. She was a courageous woman who had investigated and reported human rights abuses in Chechnya, such as torture and other ill-treatment, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances and had provided assistance to displaced and disadvantaged people. The murder of Natalia Estemirova sheds further light on the precarious circumstances in which human rights defenders work in the Russian Federation. It follows the killings earlier this year of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, journalist Anastasia Baburova, and Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.
I urge you to guarantee that this terrible killing is thoroughly investigated in line with internationally recognized standards. I call for an end of impunity for the murder of human rights defenders in Russia and for their full protection under Russian and international law. Human rights violations in Russia should no longer be ignored.
I would appreciate your urgent attention to this matter.”
Visit Amnesty International USA and let your voice be heard. Do it for Natalia.