Journalist and human rights activist kidnapped in Chechnya

Natalya Estimorova, journalist and human rights activist was kidnapped in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya on July 15, 2009 and found dead in the neighboring Ingushetia later that day. She extensively worked on the human rights issues in Chechnya, being the most active on the issues of kidnappings, unlawful detentions, etc.

Ms Estemirova worked for Memorial organization, one of the most authoritative NGOs in Russia on human rights. In the past several months she reported that the kidnappings have increased in Chechnya, as the special regime of counterterrorist operation in Chechnya was lifted in April 2009.

It is plausible, that the pro-Moscow leader of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov was not happy with the fact, that Ms Estemirova undermined the image of “peace and stability in Chechnya”, that president Kadyrov vigorously promoted. Also the Russians may have been unhappy with her work also.

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