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Russia Responds To UN Rights Experts Over Estemirova Murder

Natalya Estemirova

Natalya Estemirova

In a statement posted on its website on July 22, the Russian Foreign Ministry acknowledged receiving an offer from UN human rights experts to assist the Russian authorities in carrying out what they called an independent investigation into the killing of rights activist Natalya Estemirova last week.

The statement explained that under Russian criminal procedure, UN experts cannot conduct their own investigation, but are welcome to provide the Russian authorities with any information relevant to the official investigation.

Meanwhile, a group of prominent Russian human rights defenders called on Dmitry Medvedev to relieve Kadyrov of his presidential duties for the duration of the investigation.

"We do not believe it is possible to conduct an objective and efficient investigation into the abduction and murder of Natalya Estemirova in the Chechen Republic while power there rests with Kadyrov," the activists wrote in their open letter to the Russian president.

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