In the current climate of crackdown on freedoms of expression, assembly and association, this is a cold-blooded murder of one of those free voices whom the authorities have so actively sought to silence.
28 February 2015
The killing of Boris Nemtsov, one of Russia's most prominent political activists, must be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated.
Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed late in the evening of 27 February in central Moscow. His killer, who escaped from the scene, has not been identified.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has stated that he would personally control the progress over the investigation.
“In the current climate of crackdown on freedoms of expression, assembly and association, this is a cold-blooded murder of one of those free voices whom the authorities have so actively sought to silence” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Regional Deputy Programme Director for Europe and Central Asia.
“There is already a list of unsolved political murders and attacks in Russia, the investigations of which were under ‘personal control’ of senior Russian politicians. We cannot allow Boris Nemtsov to become just another name on this list.”
Boris Nemtsov is one of Russia’s most prominent and courageous political activists, himself a prisoner of conscience in the past when he was arrested in connection with his peaceful street protest. He was one of those who was actively planning for a large opposition demonstration in Moscow this Sunday.
“Failure to investigate promptly and effectively, and bring Boris Nemtsov’s killers to justice in a fair trial, will be a symbolic indictment of the Russian authorities for failure to respect fundamental human rights,” said Denis Krivosheev.
“Until full truth about Boris Nemtsov’s killing is established, the numerous rumours that we are already seeing will persist, and they may be used by all sorts of unsavoury elements to provoke violence around the forthcoming protest events. It is the Russian authorities’ responsibility to ensure that those behind the killing are promptly found, and that the rights to freedom of assembly and expression of all those like-minded with Boris Nemtsov are fully guaranteed and protected.”
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International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK