· Human Rights Defenders
· Victims of Conflicts
Oleg Orlov, chair of the board of the Memorial Human Rights Centre, has expressed dissatisfaction with the course of the investigation into the murder in Chechnya of human rights defender Natalia Estemirova. “There is no progress in the case,” Oleg Orlov said.
According to Interfax
, Oleg Orlov said that the investigators’ main version of the murder has turned out to be unsubstantiated. “It is now obvious that our earlier assertion was correct and that the investigators’ main version of the murder is unsubstantiated. The investigators’ version is that Chechen rebels were directly linked to the organization of the murder”, Oleg Orlov told a press conference.
Oleg Orlov remarked that the investigators have not looked into possible links between Natalia Estemirova’s murder and the cases she was writing about. “We are talking here about crimes committed by officers of the Chechen Republic’s law enforcement agencies”, said Oleg Orlov, as quoted by Rosbalt
Oleg Orlov also noted that the attorney who represents the victim’s family has asked investigators to give him access to the part of the case materials “that concerns what the investigators are doing to investigate some of these leads, in particular those related to the extrajudicial executions about which Natalia Estemirova had been writing, and which had provoked the administration’s displeasure.” “However,” Oleg Orlov said, “the attorney’s request was turned down. The authorities have refused to allow the family's attorney access to information about what the investigators are doing in this direction. As a result, the attorney has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.”
Oleg Orlov also pointed out that abductions are taking place with increasing frequency in the North Caucasus, and the “scenario” for these abductions has been well worked out over the whole of the region, and “is spreading all over Russia.”