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First Year After Natalya

Submitted by on Thursday, 15 July 2010.    992 views No Comment
First Year After Natalya

The well-known human rights defender, independent journalist and a member of Russian-Chechen Friendship Society Oksana Chelysheva send our editors a commemoration message for Natalya Estemirova and react to unfairness.

Here is the message of Oksana Chelysheva:

On July 15 last year Natalya Estemirova was abducted and murdered. Today is the first annivesary of the tragic date. One of those which will be repeated year after year without any prospect for the killers being brought to account.

Natasha raised her voice in the most desperate situations when no one believed it was possible to help a victim out. But it helped. One of her last desperate attempts that was the likely reason for her murder was abduction of the father and son, Rizvan and Aziz Albekov. The father was arbitrarily executed by Kadirov’s people in the center of the village. Natasha named the assassins in her last interview to Dmitry Florin, just one day before the abduction. But it saved Rizvan’s son, Aziz. The teenager was released some weeks after Natasha’s murder.

Threats against journalists and human rights defenders continue. The “modernization” having become the routine but fashionable rhetoric is putting another veil over the fate of those who are trying to save Russia from sliding backwards. Death and attacks against activists have also become so routine that no one is now shocked. “Oh, it can’t be helped. And those who dared to speak up made their choice voluntarily. They knew what they were doing”.

Yes, indeed. Natasha and Anna were absolutely aware of what and why they were doing. But their deaths is not their responsibility. They wanted to live. They also believed that the killers would not dare to target them. I remember Anna persuading others, “less visible”, to be more cautious. I remember her shouting because some of those “less visible” were let down by some embassies when it was necessary to bring them out of the country, due to security reasons. It was also the case with Natasha Estemirova. Natasha was “less visible” at that time and Anna accomodated her and quarrelled when it happened difficult to organize a temporary refuge for Natasha and her daughter.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t believe that justice is attainable. I just don’t want any more deaths. Although I understand that they are inevitable, due to the reality of big politics and big money. Unfortunately, I have to say that the victory is on the side of the “killers” by now. They have found the most efficient way to silence the reality by annihilating just a few of those who dare to have


Oksana Chelysheva

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