Strasbourg, 16.07.2009 - Following the brutal murder of Natasha Estemirova, a highly respected human rights defender and head of the Human Rights Center “Memorial” in Grozny (Chechnya), the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Lluis Maria de Puig, and
“This is one murder of a human rights defender too many - the Russian authorities in Moscow, at the highest level, must at last take decisive action to rein in the lawlessness in Chechnya and the whole North Caucasus region and protect those who stand up for the rights of their fellow citizens, as a matter of national responsibility”, they said.
“Natasha Estemirova was invited only recently to speak before the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights at its next meeting on 11 September 2009, at a hearing on the human rights situation in the region which will focus on the problem of impunity. She will be sorely missed”, they added.
“Mrs Estemirova had been collecting information on serious human rights violations in the region in recent weeks. She has paid with her life for this courageous work”, they concluded.
(*) Herta Daubler-Gmelin (Germany, SOC), Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and rapporteur on “the need to eradicate impunity” – Res. 1675(2009) – Rec. 1876(2009)
Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE), rapporteur on “legal remedies for human rights violations in the North Caucasus”