Wednesday, November 4, 2009

enough of droids and avatars

Natalya Estemirova

“The most dreadful event of not only the last week but probably the last few years is Natalya Estemirova’s murder in the Caucasus. I think it is no exaggeration to say that Natalya Estemirova was the Memorial human rights centre in Chechnya. She is a person through whose hands passed the entire information about the horrors taking place in Chechnya. Anna Politkovskaya always stayed at her house. I think Anna would have been only glad to quote Estemirova in her publications, but it was too dangerous. And now, post factum, when Natalya is dead, we can say that a great deal of what Anna wrote was what Estemirova had told her."

Maksharip Aushev

Russian opposition leader Maksharip Aushev knew he was taking a risk when he spoke out against corruption in his native Ingushetia, the troubled North Caucasus republic where the body of human-rights worker Natalya Estemirova was discovered in July. But Aushev spoke out anyway--and paid the price for his bravery. On Oct. 25, the 43-year-old businessman, who became a human-rights activist after his son and nephew were reportedly tortured by police in 2007, became the third opposition figure murdered in four months when his car was sprayed with bullets as he traveled to visit relatives. Though the Kremlin had no official response to the killing, the republic's governor said Aushev's murder could have been the work of local police carrying out a personal vendetta. The admission underscored the degree to which the lawless region's moderates are caught in the cross fire between Islamist radicals and a brutal counterinsurgency. Nearly 3,000 people attended Aushev's funeral--a turnout that his father said was proof the slain activist was not merely his son but a son of Ingushetia.

Read more:,9171,1933196,00.html#ixzz0VsqFSYVK

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