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EU Condemns Murder Of Chechnya Charity Head

Zarema Sadulayeva was abducted from her office, along with her husband.
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -- European Union president Sweden has condemned the murder of the head of a children's charity and her husband in Russia's Chechnya and called for a thorough investigation of the killings.

The bodies of Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, Alik Dzhabrailov, were found in a car boot with numerous bullet wounds on August 11, hours after they were seized from the office of the Save the Generations charity in the regional capital Grozny.

It was the latest in a string of killings in the troubled Muslim republic.

"The EU condemns the murders of the human rights defender Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband Alik Dzhabrailov in Chechnya on 10 August and expresses its solidarity with the families of the victims," a Swedish EU presidency statement said.

"This follows a series of killings of human rights defenders in Russia, including Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, Stanislav Markelov in January, and Natalya Estemirova on 15 July.

"It is important that an investigation into these latest murders is conducted promptly, transparently and thoroughly. The perpetrators must be brought to justice," the statement said.

"These latest crimes demonstrate again the dangers faced by human rights defenders. The EU urges the Russian authorities to do everything in their power to ensure the protection of human rights defenders," it said.

The Save the Generations charity provides medical and psychological help to young people who have suffered as a result of violence in Chechnya.

Sweden holds the rotating EU Presidency from July to December this year.