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Russia: Mourners Honor Slain Democracy Advocate

St. Petersburg, 24 November 1998 (RFE/RL) - Russian politicians and ordinary people mourned slain Duma deputy and democracy advocate Galina Starovoitova at her funeral today. The queue of mourners filing past Starovoitova's coffin in a former St. Petersburg palace was so long that it forced a three-hour delay to her burial. Starovoitova was to be interred later today in a St. Petersburg monastery, resting place of many famous Russians.

Many leading Russian politicians attended the funeral. Speakers at the ceremony praised Starovoitova and many called for uniting Russia's democratic forces.

In a statement issued in Geneva, UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson condemned Starovoitova's murder, saying Russia had lost "a great advocate of peace and human dignity."

Starovoitova was killed Friday in what has been widely described as a politically-motivated murder. Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin said a solid body of evidence was being gathered to solve the crime.