HUMAN RIGHTS HOUSE NETWORK AND PARTNERS EXPRESS CONCERN ABOUT SLAIN LAWYER AND JOURNALIST IN RUSSIA

January 21st, 2009
Yesterday, at the initiative of Norwegian human rights organization “Human Rights House Network,” a statement was sent to Russian authorities condemning the murder of the prominent human rights defender and lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova.

The statement was signed by three networks of the Human Rights House and seven other organizations, including two from Azerbaijan; the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) and Women’s Association for Rational Development (WARD).
“We consider this a political case and call on the Russian authorities to conduct an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into this and all other political murders in the country,” it is written in the statement. The statement provides background information about the murder and then, in conclusion, it is written, “We are concerned about the safety of human rights defenders in the country and strongly urge Russia to ensure protection of all human rights defenders and critical voices, in accordance with Article 1 of the UN General Assembly Resolution 53/144 of 8 March 1999, under the name of the Declaration on the Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which stipulates that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.”
The complete statement can be viewed on the Human Rights House website: www.humanrightshouse.org.