July 16, 2009 / 1:53 AM / 10 years ago

White House condemns killing of Russian rights activist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday it was “deeply disturbed and saddened” by the abduction and slaying of Russian human rights activist Natalya Estemirova and urged the Russian government to bring those responsible to justice.

“We call upon the Russian government to bring to justice those responsible for this outrageous crime and demonstrate that lawlessness and impunity will not be tolerated,” White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said.

Estemirova was abducted from Chechnya and found later in Ingushetiya and her killing came a week after President Barack Obama met with civil society activists in Moscow, including those of Estemiova’s organization, Memorial.

Reporting by David Alexander; editing by Todd Eastham

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