Memorial ready to take Kadyrov to court v to court
The Head of Memorial, Oleg Orlov, has said that they could lodge a law suit against Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov over statements the latter made in an interview to the newspaper “Zavtra”. Kadyrov alleged in the interview that Natalya Estemirova, the Memorial human rights defender abducted and murdered on 15 July had fabricated incriminating material in order to destabilize the situation in the region.
Oleg Orlov states that “We answer for all information that we give, state and publish, and are ready to demonstrate that we are right. Everything that Kadyrov says is on his conscience. I have doubts about the presence of such a quality in a person who deems fit to make insults against the murdered human rights defender Natalya Estemirova.” “Kadyrov’s words are yet more convincing proof of how difficult it is for independent human rights organizations to work on the territory of the Chechen Republic.”
In the interview to “Zavtra”, Kadyrov asserted that Memorial was an organization thought up to undermine Russia and that “the people gathered there are not patriots of Russia.”
Kadyrov also claimed that Natalya Estemirova had manufactured a letter written by 20 residents of Grozny and addressed to Medvedev so as to have some incriminating material to show Oleg Orlov and Svetlana Gannushkina from the Civic Assistance Committee when they visited Chechnya shortly before Estemirova was murdered. He claimed also that she had been murdered by “enemies of Chechnya and Russia” in order to “blacken the regime”.
As reported here already, this is not the first occasion when Kadyrov has seen fit to make derogatory remarks about Natalya Estemirova. He claimed, for example, in an interview to Radio Svoboda, that he had no reason to kill a woman “who nobody needed” and added that the murdered human rights defender “never had any honour, dignity or conscience”, that she had not taken part in the Grozny Public Council – “she doesn’t go to meetings, doesn’t speak, she throws out all kinds of nonsense, rubbish”.
Natalya Estemirova had worked for Memorial for almost 10 years. An appeal to help her orphaned daughter Lana, who is only 15, can be found here: http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1249392995
Caucasian Knot also reports that the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has revoked the refusal by the Moscow Police to initiate a criminal investigation against Oleg Orlov on charges of “slander”. These refer to the statement issued by Memorial on the night that Natalya Estemirova was murdered which stated that Kadyrov bore responsibility. The statement can be found here: http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1247712855
From information at