Moscow, the political meeting in the memory of Natalay Estemirova. The inscription on the poster (on the left) says: "Natalya Estemirova was fighting against kidnapping in Chechnya", the 24th of August, 2009. Photo by "Caucasian Knot"

09 September 2009, 23:00

HRW urges Chechen President to recall his claim against head of "Memorial"

The international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov to withdraw his claim lodged against Oleg Orlov, head of the HRC "Memorial".

The HRW's statement says that by recalling the claim, the President will let the investigation of the murders of Natalia Estemirova and other activists of local NGOs to proceed in its usual order, the "Echo Moskvy" Radio reports.

Let us note that on September 4 the HRW made a statement that Russian authorities should immediately take measures to ensure safety of the employees of the HRC "Memorial" and investigate the suspicious events which, in the opinion of the organization, can be fraught with serious consequences.

The HRW treated the appearance of unidentified persons at registration addresses of the Board chairman Oleg Orlov and Board member Alexander Cherkasov as such suspicious events.

"We are seriously worried about safety of 'Memorial' employees," said Holly Cartner, director of the HRW for Europe and Middle Asia. "After the three murders of activists during this summer and at the background of increased number of threats addressed to human rights defenders, the authorities shall promptly investigate the circumstances of the recent menacing visits."

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