Week-ending 3 September 2021
“This judgment exposes the impunity surrounding the murder of Natalia Estemirova and the cynical inaction of the Russian authorities. In the twelve years since Natalia was killed, not only have they failed to identify and bring the perpetrators to account, but they have also remained silent and complacent as other human rights defenders in Chechnya were exposed to the same perils, attacked, threatened, and prosecuted. Since 2009 the assault on human rights in Chechnya has intensified and civil society has been methodically extinguished by the Chechen authorities. To this day, Natalia’s colleagues at the NGO Memorial face death threats, arbitrary arrests and jail, and many journalists and activists have been forced into exile. Scores of people have been forcibly disappeared. The inaction of Russian authorities has effectively given the Chechen leadership a carte-blanche to continue to commit abuses, and to silence anyone who dares to speak out. Natalia Estemirova lost her life because she worked relentlessly to document and expose egregious human rights violations committed in Chechnya. This heinous, cowardly murder must be fully, effectively, and impartially investigated and all those behind it found and brought to justice. Until this happens, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, the European Union and Russia’s bilateral partners should take every opportunity to compel Russia to fully implement this binding judgment. Until then, this binding judgment will be a step short of the justice and truth that Natalia Estemirova and her family are entitled to.”
-Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Acting Director. See: ‘European Court’s judgment on Natalia Estemirova’s abduction and killing highlights unabated impunity in Russia,’ Amnesty International, 31 August 2021
Amnesty International, 31 August 2021: In a judgment issued today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Russian authorities have failed to properly investigate the murder of Natalia Estemirova, a prominent human rights defender who was abducted and killed in Chechnya in 2009.
HRW, 31 August 2021: Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the case of Natalia Estemirova, star Chechen human rights defender murdered in July 2009. It found that Russia had violated their obligations to protect her right to life by “fail[ing] to investigate effectively [her] abduction and killing.”
Civil Rights Defenders, 6 September 2021: On 31 August 2021, the European Court of Human Rights issued a long-awaited judgement in the case of Chechen human rights defender Natalia Estemirova who was murdered in July 2009. The Court ruled that the Russian Federation violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to carry out an effective investigation into her murder.
EHRAC, 28 August 2021: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, speaks about the upcoming judgment on the case of Natalia Estemirova, a human rights activist murdered in Chechnya in 2009.
RFE/RL, 31 August 2021: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that while it had insufficient evidence to conclude there was Russian state involvement in the 2009 abduction and murder of human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, Russian authorities failed to properly investigate the killing.
The Moscow Times, 31 August 2021: Europe’s top human rights court said it has found no evidence of Russian state involvement in the 2009 murder of human rights activist Natalia Estemirova but ruled that authorities failed to properly investigate the case.