29 January 2009, 19:00

Finland commemorates Markelov, Baburova and Stradymov

Yesterday, on January 28, in the evening, Finland hosted a rally in memory of advocate Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasiya Baburova assassinated in January in Moscow. The "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was informed about it by Salla Pyuyukkonen, one of the organizers of the action and coordinator of the Finnish branch of Amnesty International (AI).

The action was held at 5-6 p.m. opposite the Russian Embassy in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. About a hundred persons took part in it.

Heidi Hautala, MP from the "Green" faction and Chair of the Finnish-Russian Civil Forum, spoke to the rally and expressed, on behalf of her organization, condolences to the relatives and friends of the civil activists who had perished in Moscow.

"Lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasiya Baburova were shot dead when they were performing their duties. Earlier, young activist Anton Stradymov was brutally murdered. We want to render our support to those who stand for human rights and civil freedoms in Russia. We demand an immediate and transparent inquiry into these murders. We demand efficient actions by authorities of Finland and other countries to guarantee safety of human rights activists in Russia. In this way only we can honour the victims' memory and their work," Ms Hautala has stated.

"All participants of the action were in a deep shock because more and more human rights activists and oppositionists are assassinated in Russia, and the culprits are never found," said Ms Pyuyukkonen. She added that nobody came out from the Russian Embassy to the protesters.

The press service of the "Yabloko" Party reports that today in Moscow several supporters of the youth branch of the Party were detained during the action in memory of perished journalists. The action was held in memory of the journalists who perished in recent years: Anastasiya Baburova, Anna Politkovskaya, Yuri Schekochikhin, and also of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Farid Babaev, leader of the "Yabloko" in Dagestan.

According to the press service, all in all 13 persons were detained, including five activists of the "Youth Yabloko", press secretary of the "Yabloko" Igor Yakovlev, five journalists and two occasional passers-by. Sources in the Party assert that all the detainees are kept at the FSB Department for Moscow and Moscow Region.

The "Interfax" reports that the leader of the "Yabloko" Sergey Mitrokhin told journalists that the detention was the roughest violation of the law, since the activists of the "Youth Yabloko" were holding a single picket.

Meanwhile today, Dmitri Muratov, editor-in-chief of the "Novaya Gazeta", said live on air of the "Echo Moskvy" Radio that President Dmitri Medvedev had explained his silence after the murder of Markelov and Baburova by his unwillingness to influence the investigation.

"He said straightaway: if I'd immediately treated this murder as a political one, it'd certainly affect the inquiry. He categorically wouldn't want it," said Mr Muratov.

Author: Vyacheslav Feraposhkin; Source: CK correspondent

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