14 August 2009, 23:50

In Chechnya, witnesses fear to evidence on human rights activists' murders

Alexander Bastrykin, Chairman of the ICPO, has stated that witnesses are afraid to evidence on murder cases of human rights activists in Chechnya.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Zarema Sadulayeva and Alik Dzhabrailov were taken away on August 10 at 2 p.m. from the office of the organization "Let's Save the Generation" by unknown persons. In the morning on August 11, their bodies with plural gunshot wounds were found in the Zavodskoy District of the Chechen capital in the luggage compartment of their own car.

On July 15, the murder was committed of Natalia Estemirova, a well-known Chechen human rights defender and employee of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial".

"The investigation of July's and August's murder cases of Chechen human rights activists progresses very hard. Out of a huge dwelling district inhabited by hundreds of people, we have today only two women evidencing on potential culprits," said Mr Bastrykin.

The "Interfax" further quotes him saying that the heaviest consequence of such crimes is "when people are intimidated and afraid to cooperate with law enforcement bodies."

Still, the head of the ICPO is sure that the murders of Chechen human rights activists will be solved, as the "Gazeta.Ru" writes.

"I say it absolutely consciously. We have interesting and very useful operative data, and we'll solve these crimes. Maybe, not in the near future, but what I've heard from my colleagues gives rise to the confidence that we'll solve both crimes," Mr Bastrykin has added.

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