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Slain Lawyer Markelov Honored In Chechnya

A memorial in Moscow for Markelov and Baburova
A memorial in Moscow for Markelov and Baburova
Human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov has been posthumously awarded a medal "for defense of human rights" by Chechnya's pro-Russian human rights commissioner, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

Chechnya's Kremlin-backed president, Ramzan Kadyrov, on January 27 told journalists he decided to award Markelov with a medal "for services to the Chechen Republic."

Markelov was shot dead by unknown assailants in broad daylight on a Moscow street on January 19. Anastasiya Baburova, a 25-year-old journalist who tried to defend Markelov during the attack, was also killed.

Markelov's murder may be connected to his advocacy in the case of a young Chechen woman who was murdered by Russian Army Colonel Yury Budanov in 2000. Markelov represented the girl's family and was planning to appeal Budanov's early release from prison.

Baburova was buried in her native Simferopol, Ukraine, on January 26.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, the chairwoman of the Association of Crimean Journalists, Lilia Budjurova, said that she does not believe the murderers will ever be brought to justice, and that it is common for such high-profile killings to go unsolved in Russia.