Front Line Defenders
Seven years after Natalia Estemirova's Killing, Still No Justice
On 15 July 2009, Natalia was abducted from her home in Grozny. A few hours later her body was found in neighbouring Ingushetia. Previous threats made against both Natalia and the organisation she worked for, Memorial, combined with the circumstances of her murder, point to possible government or official involvement in her killing. The Russian authorities have made little attempt to effectively carry out an investigation into her murder. Seven years on, no one has been brought to justice and some of Natalia's colleagues have continued to receive threats by both unidentified actors and authorities because of their legitimate human rights work.
"Natalia was a beacon of hope for so many amidst the ongoing violent repression in Chechnya, and when she spent time with us in Dublin we came to know and respect not only her dedication and bravery but her deep humanity". (Mary Lawlor, Executive Director Front Line Defenders)
Natalia Estemirova was an award-winning human rights defender and journalist in the troubled Russian republic of Chechnya, who had continued to document human rights violations and speak out on behalf of victims and their families in the face of repeated death threats and harassment. She was board member of the Russian human rights organisation Memorial.
Natalia Estemirova had been working on extremely sensitive cases of human rights abuses, investigating hundreds of cases of alleged kidnappings, torture and extra-judicial killings by Russian government troops or militias in Chechnya. She worked closely with other reporters, including Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in 2006, and wrote articles on human rights violations committed in Chechnya for the renowned newspaper “Novaya Gazeta".
In nearly a decade of defending her community’s land and rivers from corporate destruction, Honduran woman Ms. Ana Mirian Romero has endured armed raids, physical assault, death threats, and personal defamation campaigns. On 10 June 2016, former President of Ireland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, Mrs. Mary Robinson, presented Ana Mirian with the 2016 Front Line Defenders Award.