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Chechen activist and journalist Natalya Estemirova was found dead on Wednesday just a few hours after being kidnapped by unknown assailants. Arseni Roginski: This terrible crime only happened yesterday, so we don't know much yet.
Her colleague at the human rights organization Memorial, Arseni Roginski, spoke to SPIEGEL ONLINE about her murder -- and why he thinks Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov is behind it. Roginski, yesterday your colleague from Memorial, Natalya Estemirova was murdered in the northern Caucasus. Natalya was the representative of our office in the Chechen capital Grozny.
Our staff members look into human rights abuses, collect information and conduct investigations.
There are regions in the Caucasus where so-called anti-terror operations are being conducted, where security forces go after armed separatists. She published articles in various newspapers, including the Novaya Gazeta, where Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist shot dead in 2006, worked.
The message from him was always the same: "Natalya, we are not pleased with you." SPIEGEL ONLINE: Who is the mastermind behind the murder?
Roginski: Well, it's a fact that Natalya's body was found in an area in the neighboring republic of Ingushetia, where Kadyrov's units are conducting military operations against Islamist insurgents. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Oleg Orlov, your colleague from Memorial, says that there is no doubt that Kadyrov sent a death squad after Estemirova.
She also urged Russia to clarify the circumstances of the killing.
In response, Medvedev called it "a very sad event" and a "provocation" and said he was determined to find and punish Estemirova's killers.
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She has completed a Graduate Certificate in Migration Law and Practice from Australian National University in Canberra in 2007.
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A few hours later, her body was found in the neighboring republic of Ingushetia.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Estemirova had worked for many years for your human rights organization, Memorial. Roginski: In addition to our headquarters in Moscow, we also have many offices in the northern Caucasus.