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Moscow Authorities Declare Plaque Honoring Nemtsov Illegal


Boris Nemtsov

Moscow authorities say a plaque honoring slain opposition politician Boris Nemtsov placed on the apartment block where he lived is illegal.

An official from Moscow's Department of Cultural Heritage told TASS news agency on September 7 that memorial plaques honoring individuals can be publicly placed 10 years after their deaths, according to law.

Opposition politician Ilya Yashin wrote on Facebook earlier that the plaque, which reads "Politician Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered by a hired killer on February 27, 2017, lived here," was placed on the wall of the apartment block on September 7.

Yashin said the plaque was installed after most residents of the building supported the move initiated by a Moscow city lawmaker, Sergei Markov.

Moscow city authorities had previously prevented activists from installing another plaque on the bridge where Nemtsov was shot dead.

Nemtsov supporters have established a makeshift memorial to Nemtsov on the bridge.

Activists have organized a permanent watch at the memorial, made up of Nemtsov's portraits and flowers, after it was repeatedly ransacked and sometimes removed either by unknown people or by the police.

One activist died in hospital after he was attacked while guarding the makeshift memorial last month.

In July, a Moscow court found five men from Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya guilty of Nemtsov's murder, but relatives and associates believe the killing was ordered at a higher level. They say justice will not be served until the person or people behind the slaying are identified and prosecuted.

As with previous killings, including that of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, government critics have voiced suspicion that the culprits will never face justice because an honest investigation could lead close to Moscow-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov or Putin's government.

With reporting by TASS
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