Natalya Estemirova’s Birthday

28 February 2013 

Source: (info

On 28 February this year, journalist and human rights defender Natalya Estemirova would have been 55. She was murdered on 15 July 2009. 

For almost ten years Natasha was a leading staff member of Memorial in the North Caucasus, above all in Chechnya. She not only gathered information about human rights violations. She was a human rights defender in the large sense of the word, a protector of the people. Residents of Chechnya were  victims of bombing, ‘sweep’ operations, abductions, and torture, and Natasha sought to help them all. She demanded the impossible from the authorities: that they should put an end to the lawlessness. At times she succeeded through the strength she acquired from her conviction that she was in the right, and from her belief in the strength of the law. Her work made Natasha well-known throughout Chechnya. People came to look for her, hoping to find protection, and at least to ensure that the lawlessness should not remain unknown. 

Natasha had often been threatened by officials of levels, but she could not imagine abandoning the work in her homeland, Chechnya, to which she was committed.