2009: Russia: Natalia Estemirova

July 17th 2009

Mr Dmitry Medvedev

Dear Sir,

We – members of International PEN , the non-political association of writers and publishers – are deeply shocked and dismayed by the news of the murder of Natalia Estemirova.
We trust that you will exercise the utmost of your influence to have the murder investigated and the criminals brought to court.

We appreciate your promise that there will be an immediate investigation and it is our sincere hope that similar politically based assassinations will be brought to an end, so that people like Natalia Estemirova and Anna Politkovskaya may freely survey conditions that may seem to curb citizens’ right to free expression, as laid down in international laws and charters.

It is a sad fact that as may as 17 journalists have been murdered in their attempt to uncover the high levels of criminality and abuses in Russia. Specifically in Chechnya and Ingushetia. None of these cases have been properly resolved and the murderers act with impunity, which is totally unacceptable. We trust that Russian authorities from now on will investigate all of these cases and make sure that criminals are prosecuted.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Norwegian PEN Centre

By e-mail: infor@memo.ru
Copy to the Russian Embassy in Oslo