November 24, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center
On July 15, 2009 Natalia Estemirova, human rights activist and prize-winning journalist, was abducted near her Chechen home and brutally murdered. At the time, according to the BBC, she had been investigating hundreds of cases of alleged kidnapping, torture and killings by the Chechen militia. In “Bearing Witness in Chechnya: The Legacy of Natalia Estemirova,” an event co-sponsored by PEN American Center, Human Rights Watch and the CUNY School of Journalism among others, and held at the CUNY Graduate Center, authors, journalists and educators gathered to honor her life. “She could not watch people suffer, and she felt it was her obligation to do something … even if she knew she was doing something risky,” said Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, participating along with former PEN President Salman Rushdie; Michael Arena, associate professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a former investigative reporter for Newsday, and Russian journalist Elena Milashina.