Murder of Natalia Estemirova
Paris, July 15, 2009
I was horrified to learn just now of the murder of journalist Natalia Estemirova, a leading member of the "Memorial" organization in Chechnya.
France utterly condemns this heinous murder. We express our wholehearted solidarity to Natalia Estemirova’s family and close friends and the members of "Memorial".
We want every effort made to find the perpetrators of this crime so that they may be brought to trial.
France reaffirms her commitment to the internationally recognized and acclaimed work of "Memorial", which in 2006 received the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize.
On 23 June in Grozny, at my request, Human Rights Ambassador François Zimeray met several members of "Memorial", including Natalia Estemirova, to show France’s support in their struggle for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Chechnya.
More than ever, France stands alongside the human rights defenders in Chechnya as she does throughout the world./.