Raw in War
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RAW in WAR in association with the Pushkin House
lecture by Natalia Estemirova, the first recipient of the RAW inWAR Anna Politkovskaya Award


Fri 10 October 2008 – 7.30pm
Lecture: The Current Situation In The Caucasus: The Human Rights Perspective

Language: In Russian with English translation


The evening is introduced by Mariana Katzarova and David Brummell. There will be a performance by cellist Alfia Bekova.


Natalya Estemirova is a courageous human rights defender and freelance journalist from Chechnya. Since 2000, and throughout the armed conflict in Chechnya, she has been working for Memorial, Russia’s largest and oldest human rights organisation.

Natasha was the close friend and colleague of Anna Politkovskaya. She was Anna’s most frequent companion during her travel and journalistic investigations in Chechnya. They investigated a number of cases together – about which Anna wrote for “Novaya Gazeta” and Natasha wrote for Memorial’s website and for local newspapers. Natasha was also Anna’s interpreter in Chechnya because she speaks both Russian and Chechen, being half-Russian and half-Chechen herself.
Originally trained as a historian, after university Natasha taught history in Chechen schools. Then in 1991 she became one of the leaders of a teachers’ strike demanding better pay and better conditions. During the armed conflict between the Russian Republics of Ingushetia and North Ossetia in 1992, Natasha helped bring refugees to safety and helped free hostages. During the first war in Chechnya, Natasha collected numerous testimonies from civilians who were tortured by the Russian forces in unofficial detention facilities, the so-called “filtration camps”. She produced a TV series and wrote articles in the Chechen newspapers about the prisoners in those camps.

Natasha received the first RAW in WAR Anna Politkovskaya Award, which was presented to her at The Frontline Club in October 2007. RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in WAR) is a new international human rights organisation, which aims to support women human rights defenders working in countries in war and conflict, and to help end their abuse and persecution, as well as to strengthen their work in areas of conflict or “forgotten conflict”, where there is limited or no support from the major existing humanitarian agencies and organisations. RAW in WAR annually presents the Anna Politkovskaya Award to a woman human rights defender from a conflict zone, to mark the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder on 7th October 2006 and to honour Anna and other women around the world who, like Anna, are standing up for the victims, often at great personal risk.

(Note: This year’s Anna Politkovskaya Award will be presented by Jon Snow and Natalya Estimirova at 7.00pm on Monday, 6th October at The Frontline Club). The ceremony on 6th October Page

The subject

Natasha will speak on the current situation in Chechnya and on the situation in the Caucasus and conflicts there more generally, that is to say, in both North and South Caucasus and including Georgia and South Ossetia. Her perspective is that of a committed defender of human rights, with deep and extensive personal experience of human rights abuses in the Caucasus. Natasha will also talk about her work for Memorial.

Other details

The talk will be in Russian, with interpretation in English by Elena Cook. There will be an opportunity for discussion and questions at the end of the talk, in either Russian or English.

The talk will be introduced by David Brummell.

Tickets: £7.00, conc. £5.00

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