2009: Russia: Natasha Estemirova
July 17th 2009
Mr Dmitry Medvedev
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.
Norwegian PEN Centre
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy to the Russian Embassy in Oslo
Mr Dmitry Medvedev
President of the Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 206 5173 / 206 6277
Mr Chaika Yuri Yakovlevich
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Ishaya Dmitrovka 1 a GSP e
Moscow 12599 3
Fax+7 495 292 88 48
As a member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN, I am deeply shocked and outraged by the murder of Natasha Estemirova 16 July 2009 clearly in retaliation for her investigations into human rights abuses in Chechnya.
In 2007 the first annual Anna Politkovskaya Award was given to Natasha Estemirova for her courage in seeking and telling the truth about the torture, disappearances and murders of civilians in the war in Chechnya.
I welcome President Medvedev´s promise that there will be an immediate investigation into her murder, and that this will be carried out fully and impartially, and that those responsible be brought to justice. And I call on the Russian Government to bring to justice the killers of Anna Politkovskaya, for whose murder, three years on, justice has not been done.
Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,
Leader of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo
Drammensveien 74, 0244 Oslo
Tel., Fax: tel.: (+47) 22 55 32 78; 22 44 06 08
fax: (+47) 22 55 00 70