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Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Mike Hammer on the kidnapping and murder of Russian Human Rights Activist Natalya Estemirova

We are deeply disturbed  and saddened by the abduction and murder of respected human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, abducted from Chechnya and found in Ingushetiya today.  This brutal slaying  is especially shocking coming one week after President Obama met with civil society activists in Moscow, including those from Natalya’s organization  – Memorial.  Such a heinous crime sends a chilling signal to Russian civil society and the international community and illustrates the tragic deterioration of security  and the rule of law in the North Caucasus over the last several months.

We call upon the Russian government to bring to justice those responsible for this outrageous crime and demonstrate that lawlessness and impunity will not be tolerated.


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