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Russian Rights Activists Push For Memorial To Slain Lawyer, Journalist

The two victims were shot last year

The two victims were shot last year

Russian rights activists are gathering signatures to push for a memorial plaque to a human rights lawyer and a journalist who were slain in Moscow one year ago, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, a reporter who worked for opposition newspaper "Novaya gazeta," were shot on January 19, 2009.

Markelov died on the spot; Baburova died later of her wounds.

Activists have written an open letter to Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov to ask that a plaque be placed at the scene, and are gathering signatures on an Internet petition supporting the move.

On January 12, the mayor's office denied permission for a march to commemorate the anniversary on January 19 -- a decision rights activists said they planned to appeal.

Markelov had protested the early release from prison of a Russian army colonel jailed over the murder of an 18-year-old Chechen girl.

The killings were condemned by international rights groups including Amnesty International.