U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
July 15, 2014
STATEMENT BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON
Fifth Anniversary of Human Rights Activist Nataliya Estemirova’s Murder
Nataliya Estemirova bravely and tirelessly sought to expose horrible human rights violations in Chechnya. Five years ago on July 15, she was kidnapped and brutally murdered in the North Caucasus region of Russia. Her killers remain unnamed and unpunished. We call on the Russian government to step up efforts to find those responsible for the murder of Ms. Estemirova, as well as in the cases of other human rights activists and journalists whose murders remain unsolved.
Ms. Estemirova’s courage and dedication continues to serve as an inspiration for those who have carried on her work in Russia and elsewhere. Sadly, many of her colleagues in Russia continue to face harassment for their work. We call on the Russian government to ensure that human rights defenders can safely and freely pursue their work, which is so vital to a healthy, democratic society.