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Russian Rights Activists Mark 40th Day After Estemirova's Slaying

Natalya Estemirova

Natalya Estemirova

Human rights activists in Russia are commemorating their former colleague Natalya Estemirova today, the 40th day after she was abducted in Grozny and killed by her kidnappers, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Commemoration events are scheduled in several Russian cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Lev Ponomarev, the head of the For Human Rights movement, told RFE/RL that despite President Dmitry Medvedev's personal order to the Prosecutor-General's Investigation Department to find those behind her murder, he believes it is unlikely the culprits will ever be found.

Ponomarev said some Russian human rights organizations have officially demanded that Medvedev suspend Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov while the investigation is under way.

Kadyrov expressed a negative attitude toward Estemirova and her work in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL conducted after she was killed.

Estemirova worked for the Grozny branch of the human rights center Memorial.

Memorial's branch in Grozny was closed after her death.