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To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya

Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her in Grozny and killed her. I was in Chechnya for her funeral. The pain of seeing my best friend’s body, riddled with bullets, was eclipsed only by the horror…

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