Statement in Memory of Russian Journalists Natalya Estemirova and Paul Klebnikov

U.S. Department of State - Washington, D.C.

Today, the United States remembers human rights defender and journalist Natalya Estemirova and Forbes journalist and editor, Paul Klebnikov. Both were murdered, but neither the killers, nor those who ordered these crimes, have ever been brought to justice. Ms. Estemirova, renowned for her writing and activism on human rights abuses in the North Caucasus, was kidnapped and killed in the Ingushetia region of Russia on July 15, 2009. Mr. Klebnikov was murdered on July 9, 2004, likely in retaliation for his writing on official corruption and graft.

We honor the memories of Ms. Estemirova and Mr. Klebnikov by calling for an end to the impunity for abuses in the North Caucasus and elsewhere in Russia. The United States supports the efforts of brave journalists and human rights defenders around the world who expose corruption and human rights abuses. We urge the Russian government to protect journalists and human rights defenders, in accordance with the international agreements to which Russia is a party.

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