EDITORIAL: The Estemirova Fraud in Putin’s Russia

EDITORIAL

The Estemirova Fraud in Putin’s Russia

Natalia Estemirova

We carry a photograph in today’s issue which makes it appear that a malignant Vladimir Putin is controlling a puppet Dima Medvedev by remote control.  Truly, one picture is worth a thousand words.  Or, in this case, screams.

At a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, Medvedev claimed that the Russian government had identified the killer of hero journalist Natalia Estemirova.

The man Medvedev has fingered for the crime is conveniently dead, therefore there won’t be any trial.  He’s conveniently an anti-government militant, therefore apparently neither the Kremlin nor the Kadyrov regime in Chechnya can be blamed.  And Medvedev himself admits the Kremlin has no idea who ordered the killing — and the killer being dead, no prospects of identifying him.

It is as if the U.S. government blamed the killing of Martin Luther King on Malcolm X after X was himself murdered.  It is farce, in equal parts pathetic and tragic, of a kind only Russia can produce.

Showing far more courage and commitment to human rights than Barack Obama, Merkel openly challenged Medvedev’s laughable statements, declaring:  “It is important that Russia continues to investigate that murder.  In order to feel security in the legal system, it’s important that such high-profile and public cases be successfully solved.”

Meanwhile, Medvedev openly took credit for the enactment of a new law which authorizes the secret police to lock citizens up for weeks without charges on the vague accusation of being dangerous to the nation.

These events emphatically end debate about what sort of person Medvedev really is, and even Russians are openly acknowledging it.  Anyone who can suggest now that Medvedev is any sort of “liberal” or “reformer” can only be seen by thinking people as fully insane.

Meanwhile, Estemirova’s real killers run free, as do those (perhaps the same FSB agents) who took out Politkovskaya and Starovoitova, all after proud KGB spy Putin took power.  It is totally obvious that a conspiracy to murder these public figures exists, and equally obvious that the Kremlin has no intentions of getting to the bottom of it because the Kremlin itself lies at the center.

5 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Estemirova Fraud in Putin’s Russia

  1. This reminds me of a great parody on par with Vladimir Zhirinovskiy, watch him for a laugh. Chernovetskiy is another funny looser this time in Ukraine, they’ve got all the same stuff over there in Ukraine and Belarus, and you’re saying!

  2. Activists ask Kremlin for protection in Chechnya

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE66J1VU.htm

    MOSCOW, July 20 (Moscow) – Members of the Kremlin’s human rights council appealed to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday to protect colleagues in Chechnya after the Moscow- backed leader of the volatile region lambasted rights workers.

    Hardline leader Ramzan Kadyrov called rights workers “enemies of the state” in an interview this month, using a Soviet-era term for traitors, provoking outrage from activists.

    “We are very worried about the fate of our colleagues,” council members and other activists said in an open letter to Medvedev, posted on the website sovetpamfilova.ru. “This statement by the Chechen President is nothing else but a direct threat.”

    Medvedev’s spokeswoman could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

  3. Magomed Hanmagomedov has posted a video clip, apparently taken by one of the policemen who participated in this operation, on the newspaper’s website alongside his article. The clip features the dead body of a young man lying on the ground and covered in blood, and two other bodies inside a car. A voice apparently pleading not to shoot can be heard at the beginning of the video clip followed by a number of shots fired, and the voice of a man condemning the “borodachi” (“bearded men” – a reference to Islamic groups, although none of the three corpses appear to have a beard).

    Following the publication of his article, Magomed Hanmagomedov received phone calls from law enforcement officials expressing indignation at his article, and a number of mobile phone text messages from unknown numbers alleging that he was paid from abroad and working for militants. Magomed Hanmagomedov has been informed by a confidential source that the local prosecutor’s office might be preparing a criminal case against him. The Russian human rights group Memorial has expressed concern about the safety of Magomed Hanmagomedov.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR46/027/2010/en/57aab615-9f8b-4f54-8ca7-42ad03f3a57e/eur460272010en.html

  4. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/07/144714.htm

    Today we honor the life and work of Natalya Estemirova, a brave Russian human rights defender and journalist, who was abducted and murdered in the North Caucasus region of Russia on July 15, 2009.

    Ms. Estemirova devoted her career to bringing awareness and pressing for accountability for human rights abuses, particularly in Chechnya. The international community justifiably gave Ms. Estemirova a number of awards for her important work. A year has passed since her tragic death, yet those responsible for this horrible crime have yet to be brought to justice. We will continue to shine the spotlight on this case as part of our efforts to protect the brave journalists and civil society activists across the globe who, like Natalya, speak out against abuses and work to secure fundamental freedoms for their fellow citizens.

  5. http://www.ep-president.eu/president/view/en/press/press_release/2010/2010-July/press_release-2010-July-13.html

    European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek made the following statement to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Natalia Estemirova on 15 July 2009.

    “I would like to remember Natalia Estemirova and honour her memory and work. She was tragically abducted and murdered a year ago in Chechnya. As a researcher for human rights organisation Memorial she devoted much of her efforts to revealing human rights abuses in her native Chechnya and paid the ultimate price for it.

    I repeatedly call on the authorities of the Russian Federation at all appropriate levels to conduct a thorough, impartial and credible investigation in order to bring those involved in and responsible for the death of Natalia Estemirova to justice. The European Parliament closely monitors the situation, expecting conclusive and publicly available results from the inquiry. We remain concerned about the impunity and judicial deadlock associated with serious violations of human rights in Russia, including the killing of other human rights activists in recent years.

    The situation remains fragile in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation, not least for human rights defenders. Many of them, including activists of Memorial, laureate of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2009, also face judicial harassment and intimidation while carrying out their task.

    The emblematic case of Natalia Estemirova also reminds us that all those courageous and committed individuals who make sacrifices to defend the universal principles of human rights deserve special attention. The recent European Parliament resolution on human rights defenders not only pays tribute to them but highlights the need for better visibility and protection in their home countries. “

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