Finnish NGOs commemorate Natalia Estemirova

Finnish civic activists have called a demonstration for 17 July 2009 to commemorate the Russian human rights activist, Natalia Estemirova, who was murdered in Chechnya on 15 July 2009.

The demonstrators demand that Russian authorities carry out a prompt and thorough investigation into the murder of Natalia Estemirova and other human rights defenders, and that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

The demonstration will take place outside the Russian Embassy in Helsinki (Tehtaankatu 1) on 17 July 2009 at 16:00.

The organisers of the demonstration are Amnesty International Finnish Section, Finnish PEN, the Finnish Peace Committee, and the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum.

Torture, disappearances, murders and other serious human rights violations continue unabated in Russia. The crimes are often left uninvestigated and the perpetrators are seldom held accountable.

The murder of Natalia Estemirova highlights the dangerous conditions under which human rights activists work in Russia. The murder is aimed at suppressing Russia’s fledgling civic society.

The Finnish government and the European Union need to exert serious pressure on Russia to improve its human rights situation, and to ensure that human rights defenders need not work under constant fear for their lives.

More information:

Aino Pennanen
Policy officer, Country issues
Amnesty International
Finnish Section
Ruoholahdenkatu 24 D
Tel. +358 9 58604420
GSM +358 40 8330485

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