Another Life Lost in the Struggle for Human Rights in Russia

Natalia Estemirova © AI

Natalia Estemirova © AI

Human rights activist Natalia Estemirova was murdered Wednesday in the North Caucasus region in Russia. According to BBC News, she was allegedly bundled into a van and abducted as she was leaving her home in Chechnya on Wednesday morning. Her body was found shortly after in Ingushetia. She had been investigating human rights abuses in Russia for some time, working for a human rights organization called Memorial. She focused her efforts particularly on the Chechnya region, where she worked to battle impunity and to gather evidence on an alleged campaign of house-burnings by government-backed militias.

Her murder has occurred just two years after the murder of Russian journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya in 2007. (See a video of Estemirova remembering Politkovskaya here). Human rights activists in Russia continue to be in danger.

Amnesty grieves the loss of this courageous woman and prominent human rights defender. Many are left shocked and saddened by the incident. It brings to light Amnesty’s growing concern about human rights abuses in Russia. Learn more about Amnesty’s concerns regarding human rights in Russia, and take action.

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24 thoughts on “Another Life Lost in the Struggle for Human Rights in Russia

  1. I may not have known you, but you worked for all that is humane about humanity. I salute you!

  2. Wow. That's pretty bold. Does the government really, truly believe that nobody will attribute her death to them?

  3. Natalia, thank you for respecting human rights in your home town of Russia when all seemed lost. Like a perfect flower just beyond your reach, you were gone too soon. May your soul rest in peace. :(

  4. Oh, and 13 out of 14 people in Iran were executed for so-called "acts of terrorism" in spite of your demands that they be granted a new trial. But Iran and the press and media ignored the possibility that they could be innocent, after they had been condemned at unfair trials. It's so sad and stupid, and just plain awful! I truly believe they made their peace with God before they died. May their souls rest in peace. :cry:

  5. I may not have known you, but you worked for all that is humane about humanity. I salute you!

  6. Wow. That’s pretty bold. Does the government really, truly believe that nobody will attribute her death to them?

  7. Natalia, thank you for respecting human rights in your home town of Russia when all seemed lost. Like a perfect flower just beyond your reach, you were gone too soon. May your soul rest in peace. :(

  8. Oh, and 13 out of 14 people in Iran were executed for so-called “acts of terrorism” in spite of your demands that they be granted a new trial. But Iran and the press and media ignored the possibility that they could be innocent, after they had been condemned at unfair trials. It’s so sad and stupid, and just plain awful! I truly believe they made their peace with God before they died. May their souls rest in peace. :cry:

  9. Natalia, I don't know you, but we share something in common. That's is humanity. I salute you for your commitment and sacrifice for the promotion and protection of human rights.

  10. Natalia, I don’t know you, but we share something in common. That’s is humanity. I salute you for your commitment and sacrifice for the promotion and protection of human rights.

  11. Natalia, you were a hero and you did not deserve this. With your courage and passion we will not forget you, how could we? God rest your soul.

  12. Thank you Natalia. You haven't died in vain. Human Rights will win and it is because of people like you who had the courage and bravery to persist in the face of brutality and injustics. You are a spiritual being who will return to us and fight again. With respect and love to you and your family.

  13. Natalia, you were a hero and you did not deserve this. With your courage and passion we will not forget you, how could we? God rest your soul.

  14. Thank you Natalia. You haven’t died in vain. Human Rights will win and it is because of people like you who had the courage and bravery to persist in the face of brutality and injustics. You are a spiritual being who will return to us and fight again. With respect and love to you and your family.

  15. Its very sad indeed the lady was a fighter of human rights. It sure seems that Russia has a very poor future ahead of it.

    The World and the West – EU,US have lost a valuable person that uncovered Russia's grave human rights issues. Russia is definately getting worse in everything I can think of. No wonder Russia ranks 174th in world unhappiness the Russian's are looking at their own country that is collapsing. Its a country that's falling.

    I was born in the EU – Italy but I live in New Zealand and I am very lucky to come from a Country and of course the EU a place that values Human Rights and I have the freedom and the rights to do anything I want within law. I do not have to be frightened to express my views, I can access the Internet anytime I wish to at any types of information freely. At least I do not have to live in the extreme poverty and the fear for my life like the Russians do everyday. The fall of the Soviet Union has really given these former soviet republics a very bleak future. It's made those FSU countries much worse off today.

  16. Its just so horrible for the former soviet republics look at Moldova the main exporter is its illegal sex industry e.g. prostitutes that are forced to leave whether by choice or illegal. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Then we turn to Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia all of them have extremely poor human rights records. Their economic situation is also very very bad.

    I guess that is the price those citizens of those countries have to pay when their countries were part of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed everything fell to pieces it has goten worse today it unfortunately exceeded expectations. Those former soviet countries are not getting better they are getting worse and each day you see the proof of it. I have seen it myself the devastating effects such as Moldova. Moldova is a very sad depressing little country indeed

  17. Its very sad indeed the lady was a fighter of human rights. It sure seems that Russia has a very poor future ahead of it.

    The World and the West – EU,US have lost a valuable person that uncovered Russia’s grave human rights issues. Russia is definately getting worse in everything I can think of. No wonder Russia ranks 174th in world unhappiness the Russian’s are looking at their own country that is collapsing. Its a country that’s falling.

    I was born in the EU – Italy but I live in New Zealand and I am very lucky to come from a Country and of course the EU a place that values Human Rights and I have the freedom and the rights to do anything I want within law. I do not have to be frightened to express my views, I can access the Internet anytime I wish to at any types of information freely. At least I do not have to live in the extreme poverty and the fear for my life like the Russians do everyday. The fall of the Soviet Union has really given these former soviet republics a very bleak future. It’s made those FSU countries much worse off today.

  18. Its just so horrible for the former soviet republics look at Moldova the main exporter is its illegal sex industry e.g. prostitutes that are forced to leave whether by choice or illegal. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Then we turn to Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia all of them have extremely poor human rights records. Their economic situation is also very very bad.

    I guess that is the price those citizens of those countries have to pay when their countries were part of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed everything fell to pieces it has goten worse today it unfortunately exceeded expectations. Those former soviet countries are not getting better they are getting worse and each day you see the proof of it. I have seen it myself the devastating effects such as Moldova. Moldova is a very sad depressing little country indeed

  19. IT IS NOW NOV 2009. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO FIND HER ABDUCTORS AND KILLERS.
    PRESIDENT MERKEL OF GERMANY, RUSSIA'S LEADING TRADING PARTNER, BRAVELY SPOKE OUT AGAINST THIS ATROCITY.
    WHY CANT THIS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP LEARN HOW TO ORGANIZE AND PROTEST IN AN EFFECTIVE WAY.
    ALSO, THE U.S., IS THE LAST TO KNOW OR CARE ABOUT THESE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. SHE WAS MURDERED FIVE DAYS AFTER PRESIDENT OBAMA LEFT RUSSIA. A ROUTINE STATEMENT WAS ISSUED BY THE U.S. STATE DEPT. WHY HASN'T SEC. CLINTON DONE ANYTHING ON THIS—IT IS SHAMEFUL. SIGNED "AND JUSTICE FOR ALL"

  20. why hasnt the u.s. or president merket followed up on this. they need to link human rights abuses with their foreign policy as president carter did.
    this is outrageous that her killers are free and we go on like nothing happened. she was murdered five days after president obama left russia from a diplomatic mission. a routine statement of "concern" was sent. that was followed by three other human rights activists' abduction and killing. germany is russia's leading trade partner and sec. hillary clinton is a woman's rights activist. why hasnt this been pursued by the u.s.
    it is a sad commentary on the west.
    sadly, "and justice for all."

  21. IT IS NOW NOV 2009. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO FIND HER ABDUCTORS AND KILLERS.
    PRESIDENT MERKEL OF GERMANY, RUSSIA’S LEADING TRADING PARTNER, BRAVELY SPOKE OUT AGAINST THIS ATROCITY.
    WHY CANT THIS HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP LEARN HOW TO ORGANIZE AND PROTEST IN AN EFFECTIVE WAY.
    ALSO, THE U.S., IS THE LAST TO KNOW OR CARE ABOUT THESE HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. SHE WAS MURDERED FIVE DAYS AFTER PRESIDENT OBAMA LEFT RUSSIA. A ROUTINE STATEMENT WAS ISSUED BY THE U.S. STATE DEPT. WHY HASN’T SEC. CLINTON DONE ANYTHING ON THIS—IT IS SHAMEFUL. SIGNED “AND JUSTICE FOR ALL”

  22. why hasnt the u.s. or president merket followed up on this. they need to link human rights abuses with their foreign policy as president carter did.
    this is outrageous that her killers are free and we go on like nothing happened. she was murdered five days after president obama left russia from a diplomatic mission. a routine statement of “concern” was sent. that was followed by three other human rights activists’ abduction and killing. germany is russia’s leading trade partner and sec. hillary clinton is a woman’s rights activist. why hasnt this been pursued by the u.s.
    it is a sad commentary on the west.
    sadly, “and justice for all.”