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Inquiry into Estemirova’s Murder is Under Pressure, Human Rights Activists Assert

Submitted by on Wednesday, 27 January 2010.    1,755 views No Comment
Inquiry into Estemirova’s Murder is Under Pressure, Human Rights Activists Assert

As stated by Svetlana Gannushkina, head of the Committee “Civil Assistance”, the criminal investigation on Natalya Estemirova’s murder faces problems, although inspectors are still going to round it up. Oleg Orlov, head of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial”, believes that involvement of power agents in her murder should be considered as one of the main versions in searching the criminals.

Ms Gannushkina told the “Kavkaz-Uzel” correspondent that she felt that “the inquiry experiences pressure and resistance of those who should provide information. ” According to her story, “the situation is in place, when people live in fear.”

“As far as I understand, inspectors fail to get precise and clear evidences of the witnesses and build a picture of what happened with Natasha, and about those events or publications which, probably, were the final reason, or the last drop, which had forced someone to order Natasha’s murder,” said Svetlana Gannushkina and explained that she meant Estemirova’s publication about kidnapping of Aziz Albekov, a resident of Chechnya, and murder of his father Rizvan in the Kurchaloy District.

The fate of the Albekovs after the incidents was unknown to broad public, and Aziz was searched only by the Grozny branch of the “Memorial”; and this was the topic of Natalya’s last ever interview to the “Kavkaz-Uzel” correspondent.

The leaked information about the incident caused a negative reaction of puppet regime in Chechnya. Employees of the “Memorial” were invited to office of Nurdi Nukhazhiev, where, against TV cameras of local studios, he expressed his “surprise with a manic lust of some people to search only negative facts in the Chechnya and then inflate sensations all over the world,” as the “Novaya Gazeta” writes.

Five days after this meeting Estemirova was assassinated, and a week later Aziz Albekov, 17, was set free.

Mr Orlov said that within the inquiry of Estemirova’s murder inspectors held a thorough check of the Human Rights Centre; however, no inquiry results are still unknown, and the circle of suspects has not been established.

“I don’t know about any findings in investigating Natalya’s murder. I know that they interrogated our employees many times, inspectors came to Moscow more than once, took our documents and correspondence with the prosecutor’s office, including on the facts reported by Natasha. I was repeatedly interrogated both about the situation within the “Memorial”
and how the organization works, including the issues of funding.

According to Mr Orlov, so far, there is not a single official murder suspect.

Svetlana Gannushkina also said that money had been raised to help Lana, Natalya Estemirova’s daughter. “I can’t say it’s a huge help, but there are people who promise to pay for her training,” she said.

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