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Russian Rights Activists Push For Memorial To Slain Lawyer, Journalist

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.