Who else do we ask. Chechnya is not immune to a word from Moscow. Medvedev can give that word. It would be a simple one. End the thuggery.
The largest and one of the most egregious examples is today’s abduction and brutal murder of renowned human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, 50.
This page will gather the resources needed for what I hope will be a movement utilizing Twitter to prevail upon Medvedev to intervene in Chechnya and help bring an end to murderous thuggery by security forces there. It is beyond the level of indecency that should be allowed in a world that pretends to a measure of civilization.
I will Tweet this and use the hash tag #natalia to consolidate pieces gathered from the scene if possible and from around the world.
Here are salient news sources with brief quotes and source links:
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
MOSCOW — A prominent human rights worker who for a decade documented kidnappings and killings in Chechnya was snatched outside her home on Wednesday and found a few hours later near a highway in a neighboring republic, dead of gunshot wounds to the head and chest.
FROM HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Estemirova was a researcher with the leading Russian human rights group Memorial for a decade and had worked closely with Human Rights Watch, including on its recent investigations into the punitive killings and house burnings against people suspected by Chechen authorities of having links to rebels. She was named a top human rights defender by Human Rights Watch in 2007 under its Voices for Justice program. She received the European Parliament’s Robert Schuman medal in 2005, and the “Right to Life” award from the Swedish Parliament in 2004. She was the first recipient of the Anna Politkovskaya prize, in honor of the slain Russian journalist.
In Chechnya, where decades of armed conflict have made violence and abuse a daily reality, human rights defenders like Estemirova are rare. She was known for her fearlessness in exposing human rights violations and for demanding that perpetrators be held accountable. At her urging, victims and witnesses of Chechnya’s brutalities broke their silence to denounce their abusers, some even testifying in court cases brought by Memorial and others in an attempt to see the perpetrators held to account.
FROM HUFFINGTON POST
A report was released on the same day as Estemirova’s killing, which calls for Russian officials, including Prime Minister Putin, to be held accountable for crimes while they have been in office.
Estemirova’s death is the latest in an increasing list of reporters, lawyers and activits who have been killed in Russia, according to Amnesty International.
In a report released in May of this year, Amnesty accuses President Medvedev of failing to live up to the human rights promises he made before being elected.
Amnesty says: “People continue to be ‘forcibly disappeared’ or abducted, arbitrarily detained, tortured or even killed while in detention. ”