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1958 – 2009

Natalya Estemirova was an award winning human rights campaigner. Based in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, she worked both as a journalist and as a representative for the Memorial Human Rights Centre.

As well as a her work for local Television stations and local news papers, she had, since the end of the Second Chechen War, been gathering evidence of human rights abuses, largely the ever growing number of kidnappings in Chechnya. These she documented on film, in her photographs and in her articles.

In July 2009 she was kidnapped outside her house. She was later found having been executed less that 100m away. The head of Memorial accuses the President, Ramzan Kadyrov, of organising her murder. Kadyrov described Estemirova as a woman ‘who never had any dignity, honour or conscience’, in a radio interview, after her death.  Nobody has been charged with her murder.

There was a vigil held on Moscow’s Pushkin Square. The organisers were later arrested for disturbing the peace.