Human Rights Journalist - Chechnya
Natalia Estemirova was a Journalist and Human Rights Activist working tirelessly in Chechnya during the violence of the 1990ís and through the first and second Chechen war and beyond. The end of the Wars did not bring an end to the atrocities within her homeland as the repressive militias of President Ramzan Kadyrov terrorized the communities across the country.
She uncovered mass graves, abductions, murder, rape and corruption at the highest levels of her government and reported on it all through media organizations outside of Chechnya and through her partner organization, Memorial.
Natalia was truly one of the few journalists who remained inside of Chechnya as so many others had been killed or forced to flee. She refused to leave and continued to be the one voice speaking for those, the voiceless victims, with no means to defend themselves or speak the truth. Natalia was that composed, resolute, compassionate, determined voice confounding those who attempted to silence her. She was profoundly important to the people of Chechnya and to us all.
On July 15th 2009 Natalia Estemirova was abducted and killed, leaving the People of Chechnya without its most courageous and important voice.
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