Stanislav Markelov

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Stanislav Markelov
Stanislav Markelov.1974-2009.20071113.jpg
Stanislav Markelov at a Moscow seminar in Bilingua club on November 13, 2007
Born Stanislav Yuryevich Markelov
20 May 1974
Moscow, Soviet Union
Died 19 January 2009(2009-01-19) (aged 34)
Moscow, Russia
Ethnicity Russian
Occupation human rights lawyer and journalist

Stanislav Yuryevich Markelov (Russian: Станисла́в Ю́рьевич Марке́лов; 20 May 1974 – 19 January 2009) was a Russian human rights lawyer. He participated in a number of publicized cases, including those of left-wing political activists and antifascists persecuted since the 1990s, as well as those of victims of police violence, journalists, etc. Inter alia, Markelov had been the attorney for the family of Elza Kungaeva, a young Chechen woman killed by Russian colonel Yuri Budanov, who was released from prison in mid-January, 15 months before his original sentence was to end. Markelov was murdered on 19 January 2009 in Moscow.

Career[edit]

Markelov was a president of the Russian Rule of Law Institute.[1] He represented Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in Moscow in 2006; Mikhail Beketov, the editor of a pro-opposition newspaper who was severely beaten in November 2008; and many Chechen civilians who had been tortured. He also defended people who were victims of the Moscow theater hostage crisis.[2]

Murder[edit]

Markelov was shot to death on 19 January 2009 while leaving a news conference in Moscow less than half a mile from the Kremlin; he was 34. Anastasia Baburova, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta who tried to come to Markelov's assistance, was also shot and killed in the attack.[3][4]

Comments[edit]

The BBC reported that Markelov planned to appeal the early release of Budanov. Budanov, sentenced to ten years in prison, was released early because he had "repented".[5] When reached for a comment, Budanov denounced the killings as a provocation aimed at fueling animosity between Russians and Chechens and offered condolences to the families of the deceased.[6]

According to Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, the details of the murder indicate the involvement of Russian state security services.[7] He stated:

“In the opinion of the Novaya Gazeta staff, of which I am a member, the Russian security services or rogue elements within these services are the prime suspects in the murders of Baburova and Markelov. The boldness of the attack by a single gunman in broad daylight in the center of Moscow required professional preliminary planning and surveillance that would necessitate the security services, which closely control that particular neighborhood, turning a blind eye. The use of a gun with a silencer does not fit with the usual pattern of murders by nationalist neo-Nazi youth groups in Russia, which use homemade explosives, knives, and group assaults to beat up and stab opponents to death.

The offices of Russia's rulers President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have not issued any statements expressing indignation or offering any condolences after the two murders. This follows the usual behavioral pattern of the authoritarian Putin regime when its critics are murdered in cold blood.”

Condolences[edit]

The President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko sent a telegram to the parents of Anastasia Baburova on 23 January 2009.[8] Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered his condolences six days later.[9][10][11]

Distrust[edit]

Investigations by the radio station Echo of Moscow indicate that most people distrusted the authorities and thought they could not adequately investigate the murder and that the crimes would not be solved.[12] The distrust stimulated the wide discussion of the murder and protests.

Reactions[edit]

Close to 300 young people protested in Moscow with slogans such as "United Russia is a fascist country" and "Markelov will live forever".[13] More than 2,000 people took to the streets of Grozny.[14]

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International requested an impartial investigation.[15]

Other groups hailed Markelov's killing in Internet chatter, but it is unclear whether they were connected to it. A hate crimes expert, Galina Kozhevnikova, said in February 2009 that she received an e-mailed threat warning her to "get ready" to join Markelov.[16]

Investigation[edit]

In November 2009, Russian authorities declared the end of the criminal investigation. The murder suspects were 29-year-old Nikita Tikhonov and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Eugenia Khasis, members of a radical neo-nazi nationalistic group. According to investigators, Tikhonov was the one who committed the murder, while Khasis reported to him, by cell phone, the movements of Markelov and Baburova right before the assault. The motive of the murder was revenge for Markelov's prior work as a lawyer in the interests of anti-fascist activists. The murder suspects were arrested, and were reported to have confessed. In May 2011, Tikhonov was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Khasis was sentenced to 18 years in prison.[17]

FSB director Alexander Bortnikov reported to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the radical group in question committed a murder on ethnic grounds in September 2009 and was preparing another one "that could become a resonant murder".[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "President of the Rule of Law Institute". Rule of Law Institute. 
  2. ^ Anna Politkovskaya's lawyer Stanislav Markelov shot dead in Moscow Times Online
  3. ^ "Chechen Rights Lawyer and Journalist Shot in Moscow". The International Herald Tribune Retrieved 19 January 2009
  4. ^ Schwirtz, Michael (20 January 2009). "Leading Russian Rights Lawyer Is Shot to Death in Moscow, Along With Journalist". New York Times. Retrieved 23 January 2009. "A prominent Russian lawyer who spent the better part of a decade pursuing contentious human rights and social justice cases was killed on Monday in a brazen daylight assassination in central Moscow, officials said. The lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, had just left a news conference where he announced that he would continue to fight against the early release from jail of Yuri D. Budanov, a former Russian tank commander imprisoned for murdering a young Chechen woman." 
  5. ^ "Prominent Russian Lawyer Killed", BBC News (19 January 2009)
  6. ^ Nechaev, Aleksandr; Kachkaeva, Elina (20 January 2009). "В центре Москвы расстреляли адвоката, выступавшего против освобождения Буданова". Komsomolskaya Pravda (in Russian). Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  7. ^ Pavel Felgenhauer (22 January 2009). "The Russian Security Services—The Prime Murder Suspect". Eurasia Daily Monitor. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  8. ^ Виктор Ющенко выразил соболезнования в связи с гибелью журналистки Анастасии Бабуровой, condolence message of the President of Ukraine (in Russian) (23 January 2009)
  9. ^ "Medvedev Expresses Condolences Over Journalist Slain in Moscow". Bloomberg. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "Дмитрий Медведев сказал, почему не выразил соболезнования в связи с убийством Маркелова и Бабуровой". Mideast. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2009.  (Russian)
  11. ^ Catherine Belton (30 January 2009). "Medvedev sympathy for murdered activists signals break from past". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 January 2009. 
  12. ^ Будут ли найдены виновные в смерти Маркелова и Бабуровой Эхо Москвы, 25 January 2009, http://www.echo.msk.ru/polls/568363-echo/comments.html, (In Russian)
  13. ^ Анархисты все-таки прошли шествием по Москве, grani.ru (20 January 2009)(in Russian)
  14. ^ Чеченцы хотят увековечить память убитого адвоката, svobodanews.ru (20 January 2009) (in Russian)
  15. ^ Правозащитники требуют расследования убийства Маркелова, grani.ru (20 January 2009) (in Russian)
  16. ^ Activists: Russian reporters under neo-Nazi threat. The International Herald Tribune. 12 February 2009
  17. ^ "Nikita Tikhonov And Yevgenia Khasis, Russian Nationalists, Sentenced For Killing Human Rights Lawyer, Journalist". Huffington Post, 6 May 2011. 6 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Kuznetsov, Andrey (6 November 2009). "Crime: True Face of Hatred" (in Russian). Lenta.Ru. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 

His articles[edit]

External links[edit]