Russians mourn lawyer, reporter shot dead in Moscow

MOSCOW, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Hundreds of Russians mourned on Friday at the funerals of a human rights lawyer and a reporter who were gunned down in central Moscow earlier this week.

Dressed in black, the mother of trainee reporter Anastasia Baburova clung onto the casket of her daughter and wept. At the funeral of lawyer Stanislav Markelov, people mulled what rights groups have called a blatant attack on free speech.

A gunman shot Baburova and Markelov -- who had opposed the release from prison of a Russian army officer who killed a Chechen girl in 2000 -- after a news conference on Monday.

European governments have accused the Russian authorities of not doing enough to protect human rights workers and journalists, and on Friday the United States said it was outraged by the killings.

"We hope that those responsible will be caught, tried and punished, and that the long series of unsolved murders of journalists will come to an end," the U.S. embassy in Moscow said in a statement.

Human rights groups say Russia has a poor record of catching the murderers of journalists and that the authorities do not do enough to protect free speech.

Russian prosecutors have opened a murder investigation into the killings of Markelov and Baburova.

A court is trying three men for their involvement in the 2006 murder of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, but neither the man who pulled the trigger nor the person who ordered the killing have been caught. (Writing by James Kilner; Editing by Nick Vinocur)